Los Angeles Collegian Online

Franko Sprays Beauty, Politics Across City Walls

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Bacpac Franko poses with an airbrush in her hand in front of her paintings of an oil rig and mining equipment on April 1, 2019, in her studio.

Former rocker turned muralist Jeremie Bacpac insists on only using a spray can when she paints and she doesn’t like to be called a feminist, although her former bandmates do—instead she asks to be called Bacpac, the nickname she got from the large motorcycle jackets she wears.

The artist is unmissable in the Phoenix, Ariz, suburb where she works. Clad in jean jackets, bandanas and tattoos, she dresses for work as if she were back on the stage with her post-punk band.

Bacpac started by spraying cars for a local demolition derby, and now she lives off her art commissions.

A mural-sized portrait of a girl deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement framed by a post office logo on December 18, 2019. The artist, Bacpac Franko, titled the work “I.C.E. BEBITA ‘¿A dónde llevas a mi Madre?’” The portrait is one of 16 works in her “DENIED” series of mural portraits of asylum seekers denied entry to the U.S.

Topics in Bacpac’s pieces range from popular garden fruits, cherimoya, mango, and loquats—a commission from a garden center—to oil derricks, lowriders in outer space children whose applications to the U.S. for asylum were rejected.

“I don’t care about what people think about me,” Bacpac said. “But if I get inspired by you, I’ll show you cool things to do with a spray can.”

Bacpac Franko poses in front of her newly finished mural of potted flowers on Sept. 30.

Bacpac insists her work is not fine art, but she brings a level of professionalism rare in the street art community she describes as “a narrow clique.”

She does not often get invited for crew work because Bacpac likes to show up to work at dawn before all the other artists do. She is also one of few women in the field.

Bacpac’s paintings have been shown at the online Saguaro Gallery for emerging artists and {9} The Gallery located in Phoenix, Ariz.

Bacpac Franko kneels in front of her award-winning mural of a student in the crosshairs of a gun on March 18. The mural won the Oak Street Alley Mural Festival held annually in Phoenix.

Still, Bacpac recognizes that street art can be destroyed by taggers or real estate developers on a whim.

“You don’t want to have any ownership of your work,” she said. “Your work is public.”

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