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The Man Behind The Mural; Corey Zen | How Do You Ubuntu?

Meet the artist behind the mural at Westside High School, Corey Zen. At the age of 4, he was introduced to poetry by a family member and achieved success winning certificates. In his teenage years, he began to express his words in paintings. Through studying African art, he realized that there was a lot of things art historians have excluded from history about European Artists. This directed his style of art and helped identify his own self-love. Read the brief Q:A with this expressive young artist as we discuss the Westside Mural and what is next for this talented artist.


Q: Was this your first mural?

A: This actually my first mural, but when I was asked to do it I wasn’t nervous about it. I’ve worked large scaled before. So I knew that the same method I would use for a legal size paper could apply to the wall.

Q: How was the planning process? What did that look like??

A: It was a lot take in but when Shane and I were planning everything happened like 1,2,3. In like 10 minutes the layout came together. It’s SO effective. So just not overthinking it was the thing, letting go.

Q: How was it interacting with the students at Westside High? Were they receptive to the process?

A: Yeah, I see it in the students expression and the way they interact with art. When I observe them going about doing art, it’s a change. A change for the better.

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Q: Cool, what does Ubuntu mean to you?

A: We are helping each other, help each other.

Q: Awesome, how do you incorporate Ubuntu into your work?

A: By painting things that don’t have a stereotype. If I create a few different figures, I won’t give them a racial identity. I’ll give them a color. Blue, Orange..colors like that. Keeping it limitless as possible. No matter where you are from you can relate.

“Art is Art.”  

Q: What’s next for you? What are you off to tackle next?!

A: (Laughs) Free flowing and settling up his foundation. How A Flower Blooms, is a nude series changing the way the way that society views women bodies. Taking that sexual, fetishization and viewing them as your favorite flower.

Be sure to follow to Corey Zen on IG: @corey_zen

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