New digital art series on Metro Blue Line: Artist Cat Ferraz

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.

Ferraz – Interview – Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Where do you live and work?

Well, I was born in Brazil and grew up in Long Island, New York. 

I lived in Long Beach, particularly the Willmore and North Alamitos neighborhoods (surrounding DTLB), for five years. It was my last place that I called home in the U.S. before becoming a sojourning artist. I love Long Beach because it’s a more relaxed city than LA with a beach vibe, but still full of art and culture. It’s also flat and a great city for bike riding.

Currently, I am not living anywhere permanently because I am a traveling artist and take projects all over the world. My next big project is in Hollywood, Florida, where I will be painting a 2,400 square foot mural. I think it’s cool that I also finished a mural in Hollywood (LA) last year.

Where did you go to school? Did you have a background in art? What type of art do you make? What is your primary medium?

I studied Illustration and graduated from Parsons in New York. After two years at school, I realized that I am a painter at heart and oil painting is my favorite. I studied traditional artmaking techniques and am drawn to portraiture. I try to apply color theory to my work and use colors to evoke mood and/or emotion. Right now, my primary work is public art — creating murals all over the world. I am trying to combine my passion for both painting and traveling.

Can you please discuss your portrait that was selected for the Metro’s More People Than You Know series?

I am interested in the metaphysical aspects of traveling. There are varying reasons why people use public transit; not everyone travels for the same reasons. I decided to depict my grandmother and wanted to honor her because if she were still alive, I think that she would be blown away by how mass transit has evolved and really transformed all of our lives. I placed her against a minimal, abstract background, so that her aura stands out. The work is a homage to her and to people who use public transit.

Do you have a connection with Metro, particularly the Blue Line?

When I lived on the East Coast and didn’t have a car, I took the subway. And when I relocated to Long Beach, it was a natural transition for me to be riding the train. I took jobs between Long Beach and Los Angeles and used Metro to commute. Being nomadic was something that I was always inside me, even as a kid. In addition to being a public transit user, I always wanted to travel across the country and live on the west coast. I am definitely a coastal person. The weather is also what drew me to LA. Public transportation has been a huge part of my life.