Fabian Debora art
Los Angeles,, CA
Fabian Debora is a painter and a muralist based in Los Angeles. In 1994, he began interning with Wayne Healy, a prominent Chicano-Irish muralist and artist. Following his training, he was commissioned to create his first solo mural for the Dolores Mission Elementary School; he went on to create more than a half dozen murals around L.A. In 2000, he painted the sets for Edward James Olmos’ TV series American Family. His paintings have appeared in numerous solo and group shows. Since 2007, he has co-taught with Dr. Ysamur Flores at the Otis College of Design. He also serves as Director of Substance Abuse Services for Homeboy Industries.
Fabian Debora is a painter and muralist.
Today, Fabian Debora sees himself as an artist who depicts the beauty and struggles of his community. He is also a husband and a father of five children, and serves as the Director of Substance Abuse Services for Homeboy Industries.
Fabian wears these identities with pride; they all stem from a decision he made almost ten years ago, to turn his back on drugs and gang life. Like many of the kids he grew up with in the East Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights—then one of the country’s most dangerous—he witnessed violence at home and on the streets, and responded the only way he knew how. He found solace in spray can, tagging his street name “Spade” on the cement walls of the L.A. River.
One constant present in his life was Fr. Greg Boyle, a Jesuit priest who would go on to found Homeboy Industries, the country’s largest and most successful gang rehabilitation program. Fr. Greg put forth what was a radical point of view in the late 1980s and early ‘90s: He believed that gang members were human beings who were acting out of a deep hopelessness.
Fabian found hope in Fr. Greg, and in a handful of older artists who taught him classical techniques, which he began incorporating into paintings and murals. Fabian’s style is rich and colorful, combining portraits of those he loves—his children, his homies and his heroes—with backdrops of his community. His work has been supported by the Latino Producers Action Network and numerous private collectors.
He passes along his skills and passion at La Clase Art Academy, a weekly class he runs for Homeboy youth at his Downtown L.A. art studio.
Despite Fabian’s many successes, he has yet to break into the often exclusionary fine art world. He recently received an invitation to join TAG (The Artists’ Gallery), a prestigious gallery at Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station. A loan of $3,000 would allow him to join the cooperative gallery for two years, where he will school himself in the business side of art, gain exposure to L.A.’s Westside art scene, and connect with artists of many different backgrounds. As with all Fabian’s travels and learning experiences, he will reinvest his knowledge in the community he never forgets.
Fabian’s loan is endorsed by Borrowers Network .