La Vida
reception 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Friday, June 12
through July 3 at Creative Spirit Art Gallery
820-A Lake Baldwin Lane
donations accepted; 407-898-8343

Urban art remains the foundation of the paintings by former tattoo artist Erick D. Marquez. His tag, "Erock," is embedded in many pieces along with the symbolic narrative suggested by skulls, skeletons and other depictions of death and transformation, yet this artist reveals inner transformation in La Vida.

Marquez's tattoo work and street-art style still informs much of this show, like "Bust Your Jaw," a delightfully gruesome, fleshless lower jaw and evil-eyed head, with his graf appearing in gentle 3-D to the left. Below this horizon lies a fascinating underworld of tunnels and bubble chambers, while above, smoke and black bubbles lazily rise up from a ruin. "Choose Your Words," inscribed in the corner, reveals deliberation and rejection of others' influence on him.

Marquez's artistic vision now includes iconic figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Jesus and John F. Kennedy, rendered with painstaking brushwork. Like Hercules cleaning the stables, Marquez's meticulous paintings are perhaps a redemptive effort to buff out his years spent writing on subway signs and walls in New York City. A self-portrait also sheds his raucous past: Instead we see the artist concentrating on his work, prayerlike; the computer in the background is so domestic, and the heavy drapes suggest a shutting-out of turbulent forces. "Strength Through Faith" is another glimpse at this artist in transition, here in the classic Pietà pose; he eschews color and makes a statement with this work as a grisse, or in shades of gray.

Artists tend to wrestle within the straitjacket of style and take fewer risks as they age; Marquez enjoys taking risks with new directions, and it is paying off.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.