Murals, Graffiti and Aerosol Warfare in Houston, Texas

Updated on April 5, 2020
Peggy W profile image

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Closeup of mural in Houston by Aerosol Warfare
Closeup of mural in Houston by Aerosol Warfare | Source

Graffiti and Art

The closeup photo of the graffiti type mural at the top of this page was created by a local artist in Houston, Texas, and his crew. They are known as the Aerosol Warfare Crew. The artist who originated Aerosol Warfare goes by the name of Gonzo247. His real name is Mario Enrique Figueroa, Jr.

Most often, artists who do graffiti go by initials or another moniker. In most cases, graffiti is considered to be vandalism. The people doing the graffiti do not wish to be caught and penalized. In some cities and countries around the world, strict laws have been passed, and punishments can be quite severe.

Gonzo247 is a self-taught artist but has become well known both locally as well as internationally for taking the graffiti type of art to new heights of recognition and importance.

History of Graffiti

Would you have guessed that evidence of graffiti goes back almost as long as man has been leaving his personal marks in caves? They can also be found in tombs or ancient ruins such as are found in Greece or Rome. Other parts of the world have not escaped this form of free expression either.

Some people leave initials or drawings on rocks when passing through a place. Others create something meant to advertise or even serve as an objection to a regime. Graffiti has left its mark for numerous centuries in many locations worldwide.Of course, with the advent of paint coming in cans, modern graffiti can be executed more quickly and also more colorfully!

Using spray paint cans to create a mural.
Using spray paint cans to create a mural. | Source

History of Murals

The painting of large scale images, whether it is on interior walls or ceilings or on large exterior spaces, goes back many millennia. The types of materials used to create murals also vary widely.

Frescoes are are a combination of wet plaster and colored pigments and is one example of one type of mural. Sometimes portions of them can survive the destruction of an entire building!

When the Pompeii exhibit came to Houston many years ago, we were delighted to be able to see it. Among other displays, there were portions of ancient frescoes that had been salvaged when Mount Vesuvius erupted in the year 79 and destroyed much of Pompeii, Italy.

Sometimes murals are created out of tile and affixed to a wall. Others are meticulously painted by artists such as Michelangelo, who painted the Sistine Chapel in Rome.

Some are spray painted as in the instance of this mural pictured here in Houston. It is on an exterior brick wall of the Baker – Travis Building. That is where the restaurant Treebeards is located. Many indoor, as well as outdoor spaces, can be embellished and enlivened by murals.

Photo of mural taken in downtown Houston on a weekend when there was not much traffic.
Photo of mural taken in downtown Houston on a weekend when there was not much traffic. | Source

Treebeards Restaurant

This Baker – Travis Building is reputed to be one of the oldest buildings in Houston, dating back to 1861.

The restaurant Treebeards is located inside, and they serve typical southern-style meals. They have been situated in this historic building since June of 1980.

Aerosol Warfare Crew was commissioned to paint this mural. The Houston Arts Alliance, as well as the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau, sponsored it. The painting was completed in May of 2013.

I must admit that this corner of Travis and Preston streets has certainly been brightened up by this colorful and eye-catching mural!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Mural at 420 Travis Street in Houston by Aerosol WarfareSide view of mural at 420 Travis Street in Houston
Mural at 420 Travis Street in Houston by Aerosol Warfare
Mural at 420 Travis Street in Houston by Aerosol Warfare | Source
Side view of mural at 420 Travis Street in Houston
Side view of mural at 420 Travis Street in Houston | Source

Gonzo247 and Aerosol Warfare Gallery

The artist Gonzo247 and Merge360 joined up and started working together. Along with other local artists, many collaborative works have been commissioned and created.

Houston’s Central Library downtown has an underground parking space that has been brightened up by some 20,000 square feet of vibrant and lively graphics on that particular mural. Many spaces around Houston have been embellished.

Workshops and shows, as well as other events, are now held in the Aerosol Warfare Gallery since its opening in 2000.

Students can learn the fine art of graffiti. Both stencils and freehand methods are taught. Some of these students may turn out to be the muralists of the future.
Gonzo247 curates other shows and does additional teaching through non-profit organizations.

Local, as well as visiting artists, have their work displayed. They have an online art gallery store where items ranging from small to large art pieces as well as things like hip hop type shoes and shirts are also sold.

The Aerosol Warfare Gallery is located at 2100 Jefferson, Suite 111 & 113, Houston, Texas 77003. The phone number there is 832-748-8369.

After pop art, graffiti is probably the biggest art movement in recent history to have such an impact on culture.

— Jeffrey Deitch

Graffiti Art Murals in Houston

Gonzo247 is just one of numerous artists brightening up our buildings and streets in Houston. If you come to our fair city for a visit and wish to see more, you will certainly not be disappointed.

Numerous other artistic sites in Houston will keep you busy, whether you like art in outdoor parks or inside museums. There is something here for everyone!

This Old House in Houston painted by Aerosol Warfare.
This Old House in Houston painted by Aerosol Warfare. | Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2020 Peggy Woods


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      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        8 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Liz,

        Reading political statements by way of graffiti would not be as enjoyable to see as these colorful art walls portrayed here.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        8 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Manatita,

        Thanks for viewing this bright and fun mural in downtown Houston and leaving your comment.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        8 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi FlourishAnyway,

        Unless one settles in an established neighborhood with deed restrictions, there is no zoning in the City of Houston. Thus, it leads to all kinds of interesting sites like the orange and green house.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        8 weeks ago from UK

        You certainly have an interesting collection of wall art in Houston. It reminds me a little of a tour we once took of Belfast, Northern Ireland. Although, sadly, there the wall art was dominated by sectarianism and the troubles.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        8 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Lorna,

        Banksy is known worldwide for his paintings of graffiti. You make a good point in that when done well; it can become a bright spot that is enjoyable to view.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        8 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Greetings Umesh,

        I am pleased that you liked this colorful mural in downtown Houston and could learn a bit about the artist.

      • manatita44 profile image


        8 weeks ago from london

        Inspired and Hip, I like that. These graffiti and murals certainly look that way.

        I like your take on the history and I can easily see how they started in caves. I saw this in Chinese civilizations and in more modern native groups like Caribs and Arawaks of the Caribbean. Aztecs and Incas too, perhaps.

        Yes, Graffiti and murals have surged in popularity. In the UK, it has been helped by Banksi and other pirate artists, who have become respected by the Art Councils and sell their work.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image


        8 weeks ago from USA

        I love the bright splash of colors in the cityscape. I do wonder how the neighbors feel about that orange and green house, however!

      • Lorna Lamon profile image

        Lorna Lamon 

        8 weeks ago

        I feel Graffiti does have it's place in the world of art particularly if it is done to this high level. The UK has its very own famous Graffiti artist called Banksy, whose identity remains unknown. They certainly brighten up dull spaces which then become points of interest. An enjoyable read Peggy with lots of interesting features and facts.

      • bhattuc profile image

        Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

        8 weeks ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

        Good work Peggy. Well conceived and illustrative.


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