Friday, December 1, 2023

Slain muralist believed the world needed more love and color

A muralist and environmental activist who was murdered at his home in San Luis Potosí had a simple belief: that the world needed more color and love.

Héctor Domínguez was shot dead last Friday night after two armed men broke into his family’s Ciudad Valles home. His father and brother were also killed in the attack.

The 35-year-old became interested in visual arts as a child and almost a decade ago founded the Fénix Art collective, which painted murals in urban spaces in and around Ciudad Valles, San Luis Potosí’s second largest city.

Domínguez painted countless brightly-colored murals featuring wild animals, calaveras (skulls) and super heroes such as Darth Vader and Superman, among other subject matter.

He posted more than a thousand photographs of his art to his Instagram account accompanied by captions including “freedom,” “you are what you decide to be” and “the world needs more color and love.”


View this post on Instagram


#freedom !

A post shared by Héctor Domínguez (@hectordominguezr) on

The day after he was slain marked the ninth anniversary of the creation of the Fénix Art collective. Apart from painting, Domínguez had also recently participated in efforts to clean up the local river.

The motive for the artist’s murder is unclear but it was not the first time he was targeted.

Armed men shot at and wounded Domínguez last September as he was leaving a Ciudad Valles school where he gave art classes. Weeks before that attack, Domínguez’s largest mural was defaced with black paint, apparently as a warning that his days were numbered.

The artist subsequently stopped painting in Ciudad Valles and focused his work on towns in the Huasteca Potosina region.

The artist’s aunt said that Domínguez also sought protection from authorities but in seven months, only one police car was seen watching over his house.

“If they had done their work, this wouldn’t have happened to my nephew. The result was a triple homicide, my brother and my two nephews,” Luz Domínguez said.


View this post on Instagram


Freedom 🦋 #fenixart #coloralascalles

A post shared by Héctor Domínguez (@hectordominguezr) on

State authorities are currently investigating the crime and Attorney General Federico Garza said that they had determined that only one gun was used in the attack.

He added that the few security cameras located in the area where Domínguez lived are out of order.

The San Luis Potosí Congress today held a minute of silence in memory of the murdered muralist but the peace was broken by several lawmakers who pleaded with the government to ensure that justice is served in the case.

People mourning Domínguez’s death have left scores of candles at the site of his most recent work, a 40-meter-long mural at a local primary school.

Source: Milenio (sp), La Orquesta (sp), Imagen Radio (sp) Quadratin (sp) 

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