Myths and spray paint

West End artist finds family connection in mural


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This article was published 19/09/2016 (2197 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Nereo Eugenio II says art should be more than beautiful—it should tell a story.

The artist’s recently completed mural on the side of Khao House (126 Sherbrook St.) manages to tell a couple of stories, one of which is close to the West End resident’s heart. It is titled Gaia and refers to a Greek myth that describes the deity as the ancestral mother of all life, or the personification of the Earth.

The piece is one of many being created in the month of September as part of Synonym Art Consultation’s Wall-to-Wall Festival.

Alana Trachenko Nereo Eugenio II (Nereo II) at work on his mural Gaia. The piece is part of Synonym Art Consultation’s Wall-to-Wall Festival.

“I wanted to take a more personal twist on it,” Eugenio said. “This is actually based on my own mother. Angel is her name.”

The artist said he had a dream that inspired him to feature his mother and as he learned more about the myth, which describes a man named Nereus as Gaia’s son, he felt his ideas come together.

“It hit me — I felt like I had to paint part of my mom in this as well so I’m combining the biological mother and the mythological mother together.”

Eugenio has incorporated a number of other concepts as well, such as the myth of Atlas and a poem from one his favourite authors, to create the piece. Armed with a crate of spray paint cans, he was able to create the mural’s bold lines and depth through a technique called cutting.

“It’s working with layers so if I wanted to achieve a sharp line, you can take two colours and layer them,” he said. “Spray paint dries so quickly so you can layer quickly… using that technique is very efficient with that medium. There’s an infinite amount of ways you can hold a can and the direction you’re using it, the wrist, the whole arm, and the angle.”

Eugenio said he prefers to paint in a style of realism, pointing out the Food Fare mural across the lane as a flatter, vector-like image.

Alana Trachenko

“I like the three dimensional and bringing the art to life.”

This is Eugenio’s first time working with Synonym, which he says has been a positive experience, but he’s no stranger to the arts. Between dancing, writing, film and visual arts, Eugenio has been a full-time artist for the past 10 years.

“I’m doing a number of things to sustain myself as an artist, anything from teaching in the schools to youth mentorship,” he said. “BluePrintForLife is a national organization I work with that specializes in healing arts, art therapy.

“There’s also film. This past January I had a screening for my first documentary with MTS… a lot of it was about fear and what holds people back from expressing themselves creatively, being their authentic self.”

He said there are merits to focusing on one craft at a time, but personally, he’s never been able to do it.

Alana Trachenko

“I find that it all works cohesively together. When I’m editing a video it’s almost like I’m dancing… when I’m painting I’m writing, and when I’m writing I’m painting. They all inspire each other.

For more information on Synonym’s Wall-to-Wall Festival, visit

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