Legacies of Community Activism
Popular Murals of the 1990s: Anti-Gun Violence Mural
200 E. 118th St.
(gun painted by Oliver Rios / grim reaper by Tito Rolon, 1994)
Popular Murals of the 1990s: Anti-Gun Violence Mural AR project is part of Rios’ Popular Murals of the 1990s series included in CCCADI’s Mi Querido Barrio Augmented Reality Exhibition. The series features East Harlem’s memorial murals of the 1990s dedicated to the community members killed by drug and gun violence. As a resident of the neighborhood, spray can artist Oliver Rios collaborated with local artist to paint positive murals and help spread awareness along the streets.These murals are now resurrected on the streets of El Barrio with the help of augmented reality technology.
To learn more about the artists visit cccadi.org/miqueridobarrio.
STEP 1. Download the free Blippar app.
STEP 2. Choose an AR site/project from the Mi Querido Barrio map. Once you are at the selected location, identify your marker.
STEP 3. Open the Blippar app in your phone and scan the image or object you wish to activate.
Wait a bit as you blipp. The content can take a few seconds to load.
Make sure the image/object is well lit, using the flash feature if necessary.
Make sure to hold your device steady as you blipp.
With this particular AR site/project: Reference image of marker for positioning. If you don’t have access to the physical marker, use the image marker on your Mi Querido Barrio Augmented Reality Guide, or visit cccadi.org/miqueridobarrio.
“As a muralist who grew up in East Harlem from the 1970s to the 2000s, I was inspired by hip-hop culture and the diversity that surrounded me every day. Before it was called Street Art, Spray Can Art helped me to express myself and strive in the neighborhood I call El Barrio. By collaborating with artists in the community and painting memorial murals to remember those we lost, I found my purpose. I felt a responsibility to give those who died a voice, by creating a mural. I was also inspired to make a difference in the community by raising awareness through my art. My first collaborative mural was Drugs End All Dreams (D.E.A.D.), an anti-drug mural painted in 1991 to help educate residents about the destruction caused by drug abuse. Since that time, I have always felt that my art can bring awareness about issues that affect us today. I thank Dr. Marta Moreno Vega and CCCADI for collaborating with me on this project. I dedicate my works in this exhibition to my parents and all my brothers and sisters I have met along the way from Mi Querido Barrio.”
Oliver Rios, born to Puerto Rican parents and raised in El Barrio, is a visual artist who is committed to raising awareness. His innovative and artistic technique empowers his creativity daily. His anti-violence murals and memorial murals helped bring awareness to Spanish Harlem in the early 1990s. He learned to airbrush his images and designs on T-shirts, and he painted storefronts for local businesses. This planted the seed of entrepreneurship in him. He attended the Art and Design High School and City Tech (New York City College of Technology), both in New York, majoring in art and advertising design. Rios continues to document the changing neighborhood of East Harlem with the use of both traditional and digital photography. His passion and creativity have supported his career in fashion photography, editorial photography, advertising design, and digital art. As the founder of Orios Designs and as a creative consultant, he continues to develop cutting-edge ideas that help generate positive results. His mission is to create uplifting and meaningful images through photography, visual design, and typography, striving to inspire the human spirit.