Artist Q&A: Tato Caraveo

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tato-roosevelt-row-web-8_25_17-1Photo By: David Urbanic

Tato Caraveo is a longtime favorite among Roosevelt Row’s street art scene. He’s the art and music curator at The Lost Leaf, an expert bass player and an avid supporter of Phoenix’s creative community. We’re honored to have his mural work on display down here at The Blocks.

tato-roosevelt-row-web-8_25_17-6Photo By: David Urbanic

Tato, what is the inspiration behind the design of your latest mural here at The Blocks?

The inspiration came from the traditional graffiti style used to form letters. In this piece, I used the graffiti style to form a design without any letters or words, so that its meaning could be translated in more than one way.

You have a very recognizable style and are known for your use of vibrant color. This mural is a prime example of your signature street artwork. Can you tell us a bit about what went into painting this mural?

Well, the mural was done completely with spray paint – I’m not quite sure how many cans. I painted it all on my own during monsoon season. That delayed me a bit, so I just painted it mostly late at night after the rains.

I went in on this mural with a color concept in mind and just transferred those colors to the wall. I usually don’t do concept drawings for pieces like this one. I just figure out the color palette and free form the design.

I love using bright vibrant colors on outdoor murals as they are more attractive and eye-catching to a viewer – but also I just like vibrant colors. I knew that I wanted the colors to gradually change to give the wall a sort of motion.

tato-roosevelt-row-web-8_25_17-7Photo By: David Urbanic

Last question. What is it about Roosevelt Row and Downtown Phoenix that makes you want to paint and show your work here?

I’ve been involved in the area in one way or another, either through art or music, since the early 1990s. The different mindset of property owners in the area nowadays is very inviting to a muralist and helps the area reflect its arts community.

Many, many thanks to Tato for his awesome work on this mural. If you’d like to see more of Tato’s art, be sure to follow him on Instagram @tatocaraveo.


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