Metro Art has been piloting a new digital art series, and the inaugural exhibition is launching at the Blue Line stations. More People Than You Know features portraits of transit patrons created by local artists. To celebrate the upcoming reopening of the refurbished rail line, we are featuring an interview with each of the commissioned artists. Make sure you look for these portraits displayed on the newly installed digital customer information panels. This is Metro’s first transit corridor with this new cultural amenity.
Jazmine Atienza – Interview – Friday, August 16, 2019
Lives in neighborhood: Huntington Beach
Metro Arts & Design met Jazmine Atienza at The Lions Lighthouse for Sight in Rainbow Bay, Long Beach, to discuss her art practice and also her connections to Southern California.
How did you approach Metro’s portrait project, More People Than You Know?
I wanted to create a genre painting using my friends, Raquel and Rob, as my subjects, riding the train. Both are Filipinos who are also part of a community reviving their traditional tattoos. Like me, they are regular riders and have an interest in displaying their cultural heritage through their tribal inkwork. Last Stop, the painting’s title, references Long Beach, as it is among the final stations along this corridor. I also highlighted iconic landmarks such as the Queen Mary, Wyland Whaling Wall, Lions Lighthouse for Sight, and Villa Riviera. The piece is about encouraging ridership and showcasing diversity; my idea is to show the breadth of riders, including Filipinos, who choose to ride the train each day.
Where do you live and work? What is your connection to Blue Line?
I lived in Alamitos Beach for three years. I moved to Long Beach to pursue tattooing and liked living here because it’s urban. You can walk or bike and don’t necessarily need a car. It was convenient for me to get around town by using the train and also my bike. I have also taken the Blue Line to some of the CicLAvia events. Metro is a great way to travel. I currently live in Huntington Beach.
What type of art do you make? What is your primary medium? How do you work as an artist?
I work with oil, which I like most because it’s forgiving and allows me to slow down in my creative process. I investigate Filipino identity and representation through my figurative paintings. This is my heritage, which is extremely important to me. Many Filipinos live throughout LA, but we are not visibly represented. Most, if not all, of my subjects are tattooed with Filipino tribal designs; I quite enjoy replicating the details of their tattoos in my art. In addition to painting, I primarily work as a tattoo artist and sometimes as a graphic designer. The tattoo shop where I now work specializes in deeply researched Filipino tribal tattoos. One year, I traveled to the Philippines specifically to receive a tribal tattoo, using the ancient tapping method, by a famous, 100-year-old female tattoo artist who lives in the mountains. That experience was transformative.
Categories: Metro Art