Graffiti art festoons the walls of Aerosol Warfare located in a wedge between the 45 and 59 freeways, just outside of downtown. Some of the art is part of the personal collection of Mario Figueroa, Jr., better known in the Houston graffiti world as Gonzo247.
Figueroa is one of the co-founders of the upcoming Graffiti and Street Art Museum of Texas, set to open in January 2016. Along with Carolyn Casey Figueroa, the two got the idea for the museum from seeing the art form sprayed throughout the city on walls, buildings and passing trains.
“The subway trains, they’re the ones who captured this moment and took the message all across the city,” he says. “The trains were the first witnesses, the first testimony of the street art phenomena—this homemade American subculture.”
The idea of graffiti museums isn’t new; cities like Los Angeles and New York have been holding pop-up events and makeshift galleries for years. However, Figueroa said he and the other co-founders thought it would benefit Houston and it street art scene to have a bricks-and-mortar location in order to preserve the history around the city and the context of the art.
“To put it in a place where someone can come in, and instead of trying to track down trains or walls, you can at least have a starting point,” he says. “And then, hopefully get inspired when you walk back out, then you’re on your own mission of looking for the graffiti, and then starting your own document process."
This coming January, Figueroa and Co. will make the official announcement of the new location. But for now, visitors can stop by the temporary museum by appointment.
“Given 50, 60, 100 years from now, people will be able to look back, detached and with hindsight and in a different perspective, and my goal is for them to have something to look at,” Figueroa said. “To me, it’s doing the best we can today, so we can document for the future."
Aerosol Warfare, 2110 Jefferson St. aerosolwarfare.com