Heriberto Luna

 Artist statement

“By embellishing pre-Columbian imagery with contemporary and cosmic elements, I strive to embody the intersection of history, in all its depth and beauty, with the contexts of this era. I ground my work in Mayan iconography. My study of the intuitive knowledge and mythical thinking left by ancient artists has revealed a legacy of incalculable value that I now share.  Only with the study and the teaching of our cultural past, our ancestry is it possible to accept the strength and spiritual capacities of humanity in the present and future. I truly believe my part in this, my art, is just a small step in the larger scheme of accepting our past and that this will allow incredible visions of the future and leave our own testimony of immeasurable value in the understanding of humanity.” Heriberto Luna

Biography

Born in Mexico City in 1976, he immigrated to the United States a year after. Of 6 children, he is the second to the youngest. Heriberto Luna comes from a colorful background. His grandfather was one of Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata’s soldiers, and his father was in the Mexican army. His grandmother was a Mayan shaman, fluent in two indigenous languages.     

Graduating from Franklin High School, in Los Angeles, Luna was surrounded by gangs but found his salvation at age 16 in the arts.  At La Tierra de la Culebra, an urban art park in Northeast LA, he developed his skills as an earth sculptor and painter.  Combined with his passion for performing Aztec dancing as both a dancer and a drummer, the artistic exposure gave him focus and strengthened his resolve to rise above the bad circumstances around him.  

During 2002 and 2005 Luna apprentice in major mural projects with L. A’s most influential muralist team the East Los Streetscapers, and artist Paul Botello. Luna met Los Angeles artist Margaret Garcia and in 2002 he apprenticed with her and with New Mexico Master artist Pola Lopez

Luna has exhibited in over 50 Museums thus far, among them such prestigious locations as The Santa Monica Museum of Art, The National Mexican Fine Art Museum in Illinois, and The Museum of History and Art in Ontario, California. Beyond that, Luna’s works have become part of major art collections at Arizona State University and in 2006 Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presented him with an award of recognition for his accomplishments in the arts; Luna has also been awarded two artist-in-residence grants from the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs department. 

As his art career continues to bloom, Luna remains dedicated to under privilege youths, he is currently teaching art classes in the Juvenile Halls for Theatre of Hearts and serves as a mentor.  Heriberto Luna’s success is measurable on many different levels yet what makes him most proud is seeing the young people that he has worked with turn to the community and become mentors themselves.  Some have gone on to achieve gallery and museum showings as well. 

Withal, Luna’s bold colors juxtaposed with ancient inspiration and a strong commitment to the future of his community bring a powerful and profound statement to the art world and beyond.