Alex “Ali” Gonzalez is a photographer, illustrator and muralist who hails from Granada Hills in the San Fernando Valley. His first mural, John F. Kennedy, was created as a gift to his alma mater, John F. Kennedy High School. Since then he has been prolifically painting the walls of Los Angeles with cultural icons who have inspired him, from Frida Kahlo to Prince to Tupac.
His newest mural is a tryptich of Anthony Bourdain, Amy Winehouse, and Mac Miller located in an alleyway next to the Welltopia on Highland, across from the Hollywood/Highland Center. It is a tribute to inspirational artists gone too soon. Chef, author and world traveler Anthony Bourdain took his own life in a hotel room in France last June, singer Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning in the summer of 2011 and Rapper Mac Miller overdosed in September of last year.
Although it is unclear whether the overdoses were intentional, one could say that drug and alcohol abuse is a form of slow suicide. I feel certain that all three of these tragic figures suffered from depression. Perhaps if there is a message it is in the quote Artist Alex “Ali” Gonzalez posted on his Instagram picture of the mural image of Mac Miller:
“When you feel sad, it’s okay. it’s not the end of the world. Everyone has those days when you doubt yourself, and when you feel like everything you do sucks, but then there’s those days you feel like Superman. It’s just the balance of the world. I just write to feel better.”
– Mac Miller