Walk into Shorty’s Hydraulics in North Houston on any given afternoon and you’ll be met with a number of sounds: grinding metal, the crackling of a welding stick, and Tejano music thumping. On this day, a shiny, copper-colored 1960s Chevrolet is hoisted several feet off the ground. It’s a lowrider that’s being fashioned with custom-designed chrome metalwork.
Sotero Villarreal, or “Shorty,” is supplying a few of their masterfully painted cars for an event that may surprise some – an art installation at Discovery Green.
“It’s a subculture just like graffiti is,” says local street artist and muralist Mario Figueroa, Jr., better known around town as GONZO247. “And I see a lot of parallels between the subculture of lowriders fighting stereotypes and knowing who you are and what you represent through your vehicle. I see the parallel with the graffiti artist and a spray can.”
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