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Ernest Doty

Mural Art and New Mexico Art reach the lives of everyone because of their obtrusive visibility much like politics that affect the lives of everyone for better or worse.

Contemporary art hurled the all the oily vases of flowers and cloudy landscapes back to the past. Sure the city of Albuquerque makes one think of sun-bathed adobe houses painted in splendid colors. And perhaps Oakland makes people think of inspirational Star Wars waterfronts. Surely both cities have wonderful Oakland and New Mexico art walks, but it is the Contemporary art as well as New Mexico artists that deserve positive mention. Albuquerque art that is inspired by issues facing everyone in contemporary times inspires real change in the world. Political involvement, California art, and the New Mexico art community of these seemingly unrelated cities are becoming united and more powerful thanks to a colorful graffiti artist. Ernest Doty (b. 1970) is uniting protest art and disdain for police brutality in Oakland and Albuquerque.

New Mexico Artists

This New Mexico art by Ernest Doty is both personal and public. Doty started his life in the city of Albuquerque. He had an interesting history and relationship with the New Mexico art community. He dropped out of high school and struggled with alcoholism. However, later Doty became a full-time artist joining other New Mexico artists in the New Mexico art community and used Albuquerque art creation to deal with his personal struggles. Doty has created many murals around Oakland and New Mexico and created many smaller works for galleries (Art Enthusiast). Doty has also worked with Griffin and Eon75 (Endless Canvas). These unique personal experiences influence the magnitude of his public art.

California and New Mexico Art Murals

Oakland residents will find Ernest Doty’s red, orange, yellow, green, and blue business cards painted inconspicuously throughout the Town. Literally, these are often long stripes of these particular colors that drip and sway. The rainbows sometimes appear as little cameos in his murals inspired by New Mexico art such as colorful smoke coming out of the eyes of a skull. Or they appear as a subtle solitary mark hidden away on the street. The spectrum of spray paint is a sort of signature for the artist around cities like the city of Albuquerque.

new mexico art

Ernest Doty’s murals in Oakland and the city of Albuquerque are cotton candy pink and slushy blue universes of flying creatures, shamans, tarantula eyes, and space weapons. Recent legal issues with his New Mexico Art keep Doty indoors creating smaller works of art from oil, acrylics, collage, and spray paint, however, his murals are quite notable (Art Enthusiast). Oakland art enthusiasts are probably less familiar with the flying creatures in Doty’s works. But, New Mexico artists are familiar with his murals that include portraits of birds. His portraits in Oakland usually exhibit a motif different than the bird. The roots of Albuquerque art and Native American art appear in his abstracted facial forms in Oakland graffiti. There are many pink, blue, and gray stylized portraits of faces often exhibiting strange powers. These abstracted faces probably inspired by the New Mexico art community seem somehow otherworldly. This universe is one where people have third eyes; sometimes they have five eyes. Several of the facial images have an unnatural number of eyes added. Doty is creating a fictional depiction of a world where people have spiritually powerful third eyes. The most fun part of these works are the magical crystals and laser beams. Lines that originate from the faces’ third eye run across the murals. It looks as if these native portraits are projecting lasers from their mystical eyes. These vibrant and lively murals in both cities are full of strange motifs.

Protest in Oakland and the City of Albuquerque

Ernest Doty is helping the city of Albuquerque become the protest capital of New Mexico as Oakland is of California. Ernest Doty uses New Mexico art to fuel the flames of Albuquerque and Oakland protest. Doty’s unusual and alternative style alone inspires people to speak up against unpopular topics. Graffiti in this way is inspiring the already fiery spirits and passion of New Mexico artists in Albuquerque as well as Oakland communities. Doty has plenty of ammunition for his protest in Albuquerque art thanks to America’s new presidency. Doty brings to light facts of the New Mexico art community and Albuquerque life like the one he mentioned in an interview with Art Enthusiast; “…it’s the second poorest state in the nation” (Art Enthusiast). The recent election has inspired works on issues like this and many others that have already inspired Doty to create. Doty is a welcome visual culture artist in Oakland and inspires protest art both there and in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque Art & Oakland Art Fights Police Brutality

Fears stirred up by officials like the recently elected president lead citizens to arm men with deadly weapons and send them into the streets of both Oakland and the city of Albuquerque to further frighten and even murder innocent people. These murals inspired by Albuquerque art are stunning Molotovs for Doty and other New Mexico artists to fight the most important battle of contemporary times: the danger of police in New Mexico, California, and the entire country. He mentions the current state of Albuquerque and the New Mexico art community saying, “there’s an issue with police brutality there” (Art Enthusiast). Though this was in an interview, Doty’s New Mexico art works visually inspire people to stay positive, stay strong, and keep fighting the war against tyrannical cops. Like politicians instill fear upon their own supporters in Oakland and Albuquerque, this artist is using very different emotions to fight a worthwhile battle but to stay strong and hopeful at the same time.


Controversy runs through the veins of people today, like Oakland art and New Mexico art. Perhaps it’s the inherent controversy in street, graffiti, and even mural art that makes it a stunning and tactful addition to the issues dealt with via Contemporary Albuquerque art. The New Mexico art community and the strong roots of Oakland are filled with unfairness, poverty, violence, racism, and tragedy, not sometimes nor often, but daily. These atrocities touch many lives. But there’s something so much more powerful that also touches the lives of everyone. There’s the passion for fueling positive change. There’s the inspiration to do good. These powerful emotions appear throughout mural art by New Mexico artists and California artists in both of these cities. Protest art and his murals are Ernest Doty’s most powerful weapons against police brutality and other political issues in Oakland and the city of Albuquerque.

Protest and Contemporary art can both be quite controversial. So what side are you on? Do you support and back protests and political art or are you with those that think it has a negative impact?


“Interview with Artist Ernest Doty at Sticks + Stones.” Art Enthusiast. 9 Dec. 2011. oaklandartenthusiast.com/2011/12/09/interview-with-artist-ernest-doty-at-sticks-stones. Accessed 29 Apr. 2017.

“Posts Tagged ‘Ernest Doty’.” Endless Canvas. endlesscanvas.com/?tag=ernest-doty Accessed Apr. 30 2017.

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Topher is the proud creator and editor of Culture Hog.


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