“I needed to leave my mark”: Artist finishes mural in Laguna Heights

Serkit’s alebrije mural on the corner of Madison and Highway 100 in Laguna Vista. Photo by Gaige Davila.

By Gaige Davila
editor@portisabelsouthpadre.com 

A new mural in Laguna Heights is impossible not to notice when driving from Highway 100 headed towards Port Isabel and South Padre Island. 

Serkit stands before his alebrije mural on June 18, two days after finishing it. Photo by Gaige Davila.

The mural’s central subject, an Azteca woman, has been locking eyes with drivers and passersby for the last week, after local mononymous artist Serkit finished the work on June 16.

But the mural has been getting attention since early May, when Serkit started painting the mural on the side of the former U.S. Shell Inc. storage building, painting in the late evenings to avoid the sun and heat. In all, Serkit estimates it took 40 hours to complete.  

Serkit said the mural was inspired by Aztec culture, native fauna and the alebrije art style, created and popularized by Pedro Linares in the late 1930s. The colorful, complex-patterned mythical creatures came from nightmares Linares had when he was sick.

The left side of the mural features an alebrije pelican and Texas horny toad, representing the land, on a sky-blue background. The right side of the mural has jellyfish and a sea turtle, laid on a darker blue background representing the sea.

Photo by Gaige Davila.

“I didn’t want to do (the mural) realistic, I was trying to do something different,” he said. Serkit said most of the murals he’s done are in his hometown of Edinburg and in Brownsville. “The most important thing was for it to be colorful. A big *expletive* wall of color. It’s been blank for I don’t know how long. It needed something to pop.”

The base layers of the mural were made with house paint, then the alebrijes were spray painted on, freehand, with several layers. Serkit applied color theory to the mural throughout, putting complementary colors together in each alebrije.

Serkit had been looking at the wall for the last six years, he said, as a potential mural project. He got permission from the building’s owner earlier this year after sharing a rough idea and his previous artwork. He started painting a month later after nailing down the initial sketches for the mural. 

“That’s part of the process, being able to sketch it out, paint it

Photo by Gaige Davila.

out, especially when it’s so big,” he said. “It’s a challenge, and I like it.” 

The mural is Serkit’s first in Port Isabel, and it likely won’t be his last art project in the Laguna Madre area. He said he prefers to work uninhibited creatively, as he did with this mural on Madison and Highway 100, but will happily do commissioned work. 

“I didn’t have anything over here, and I needed to leave my mark and tell people that I’m here.”

Follow Serkit on Facebook and Instagram at @Serkitkillz. 

Photo by Gaige Davila.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.portisabelsouthpadre.com/2021/06/25/i-needed-to-leave-my-mark-artist-finishes-mural-in-laguna-heights/

3 comments

1 ping

    • Alan Flowers on June 27, 2021 at 7:55 am
    • Reply

    Nice job. Now go do the convention center on the Island. To have killer whales is just stupid. Put up something that reflects our area and not where ever it is that Killer whales are.

    • Manuel Salinas on June 28, 2021 at 2:55 pm
    • Reply

    Amazing! I hope your art continues to flourish. You are leaving a beautiful and positive creation. Peace!!

    • chibi x on June 29, 2021 at 4:34 pm
    • Reply

    yeah what Alan Flowers said cool

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