When you grow up without a father it’s very easy to find men that claim to be experts in “manliness”. They shout, “Boys don’t cry!”, “Don’t be a girl!”, “Real men play sports!”. Growing up in that mentality, we enter adulthood as mountains; hard, cold towering objects of what we’ve been led to believe is strength. With this piece, the artist seeks to call out toxic masculinity and illustrate a scene of a father and their child exchanging energy in front of a mountainous landscape painted with all the lies the father was told as a child. Even though the father has overcome these obstacles, he hasn’t done so unscathed. Throughout the fathers image are hints of the types of damage he’s sustained; broken arrows in his back, holes in his clothing and scars, some that may not even be visible to some. ‘FathrHood’ is a call to action, a call to change the narrative around being a father and being a man. A call to lead with gentleness, kindness, vulnerability and care. A call to men to do better and be better for our future.
This wall under the Beech St. Bridge is our southern most ArtPath site.
Guillermo ‘ASMA’ Sotelo is a Chicano artist born and raised in Grand Rapids, MI. ASMA’s art is a vibrant blend of his Mexican-American culture, fatherhood, and his passion for graffiti and public art alike. Practicing graffiti for over a decade, ASMA preserves the culture of writing and getting up by educating his community with events held at one of the two legal graffiti walls that he manages in West Michigan. Painting on walls has always been a passion and now it’s his profession. Somewhere between fatherhood and living out his dreams of creating art for a living, ASMA has found his voice and is speaking to the world one spray paint can at a time.