LUCIANO BORJAS BRINGS LOWRIDER CULTURE BACK TO LIFE
Art promotes peace and tranquility in those who allow their skills and imagination to flourish inside prison walls. Luciano Borjas has found peace in drawing cars, sceneries and portraits.
The artist’s passion helps foster his personal growth while enhancing relationships with friends and family on the outside. In his roles as grandparent, father, and son, he thanks God every day for the gift of art and his ability to sketch.
“When I did the portraits of my son David and my grandson Damien, they reminded me of myself,” said Borjas. “Although I cannot be present with them at this time, I express my love to them through my art.”
In his youth, the artist attended many car shows because the chrome, the paint jobs, the white wall tires and the Dayton wire wheels always fascinated him. He gravitated to a cultural connection he had with classic vehicles, having come from an era of low-rider enthusiasts.
In 1955, Chevrolet introduced a new body style that has become a much sought-after classic. The artist’s depiction of one such vehicle features a particular mauve color, while the front bumper and the hubcap reflect images of his neighborhood.
While sketching these childhood memories of the neighborhood in which he grew up, Borjas reminisced about friends, families. The music associated with remembered days brightens his mood and inspires him to stay positive and creative in a constrained environment. In his art, he finds hope for a better future.
Harley-Davidsons are well suited to low riding. With ink pen in hand and a smooth touch of gold, Borjas brought one such beauty to life. A 2009 Harley Road King justifies its name with its chrome and the details of a massive engine. The artist placed the motorcycle in front of a market and an auto repair shop in his home city, which he misses dearly.
“Art is my medicine and is therapeutic to my soul,” said Borjas. “I think of my daughters Kasandrah, Xitlalih, and my son and grandson, when I am sketching away on the drawing pad.”
Borjas acknowledges the many artists who have inspired him during his incarceration. Some took the time to teach him drawing with various techniques. His friend David Guevara taught Borjas a new estilo (style) in ink, and he is grateful that his mentor shared his love of art in that way.
“I am humbly thankful to my daughter-in-law Evelyn for all her support, which makes me feel loved and appreciated,” said Borjas.
In his quest for redemption and self-improvement, art has become a channel for Borjas’ rehabilitative efforts. It gives him the opportunity to socialize with other cultures.
The artist is a devout Catholic who continues to thank God and those who have shown their love and support throughout his journey in and outside prison walls. Borjas reminds us that the power of prayer and hard work are keys to reaching one’s goals. Art is another avenue for success, and if one pursues it with passion, it will not only provide peace but also other tools needed to overcome any obstacle in life.