work larger than life but not off the wall
car buff, he also specializes in "auto portraits," which are
customized paintings of owner's cars done on illustration board works from
photographs with a wide angle lens, which exaggerates the lines of the
automobile to make it more visually interesting. One wall graphic Gatica says
he would particularly like to do is a giant Porsche or Cadillac perhaps for an
The cost of the wall graphic can range from $500 to $2,000 will last "practically forever says.
"I have this idea," Gatica "When people are ready to tear the buildings down, I'd like to go around collecting all the walls done and start some sort of museum."
says he prefers to refer to his work as interior design wall graphics, rather
usually associate murals with flowing rivers and leafy trees; something
pastoral and quaintly old-fashioned," he says. "My art can hardly be
classified as old-fashioned."
Gatica's customized designs are created with the help of his clients, who often have a theme in mind, or some idea for a design.
"We discuss it and then I do a few sketches and project them on the wall,” he says. When the design is ready to be painted, I cut "friskets" (patterns of the positive areas of the design) and apply the paint in a method similar to stenciling.
a lot of space for a moderate cost and the use of color on a wall graphic
can dramatically accentuate the total look of the business."
While working in Connecticut, he did graphics and murals for beauty salons, health clubs, restaurants and private homes.
The graphics provide something interesting for people to look at, he says.
"In a exercise room or gym, plain white walls would be boring
See ARTIST, page 8A
says. "But with figures "and color
it adds a decorative touch”•
Whenever possible. Gatica favors a contemporary, modern effect.
Not all of Gatica's work has been larger than life, however.
He once did airbrushed graphics 'on women's fingernails.
"It was a little different working on something as small as a woman's fingernail when I was used to doing whole walls," he says. "But it was interesting and the end result looked really good."
Gatica started painting with an airbrush about 15 years ago while in art school in Phoenix, Ariz.
OFF THE WALL. Artist
Ray Gatica shows off one of
he created for the Kingwood Gymnastics and Dance Academy.- Photo by