Visual Arts

Look, Up in the Sky. It's a Brush, It's a Plane, It's Gonzo247

Mario Figueroa Jr., aka GONZO247, has been busy painting a 1969 Hawker jet near the 1940 Air Terminal Museum.
Mario Figueroa Jr., aka GONZO247, has been busy painting a 1969 Hawker jet near the 1940 Air Terminal Museum. Photo by Mark Reyes
Local artist Mario Figueroa Jr., aka GONZO247, has embarked on what will be the biggest project of his career (so far), painting a 1969 Hawker jet that's parked in front of the 1940 Air Terminal Museum near Hobby Airport.

We checked in with Figueroa's progress last week, when rain put a stop to his work, though we could see that he'd already painted in some of the outlines for his design. Returning on Saturday, the skies had cleared and Figueroa had made even more progress, though it will probably take a month to finish.

click to enlarge Come on, get happy. - PHOTO BY MARK REYES
Come on, get happy.
Photo by Mark Reyes
Figueroa's design draws on the bright color palettes from '60s and '70s, including those seen in television shows like The Partridge Family (and that bus), as well as The Brady Bunch.

In commissioning Figueroa to paint the jet, the 1940 Air Terminal Museum hopes to expand its visitorship to more audiences. "I was born in Houston and I didn't even know that the museum was here," says Figueroa, who says he drew as much inspiration from the museum as the plane.

Figueroa says he loves the color palette from this commission, he loves taking on new projects, and that this is the biggest canvas he's ever taken on. It's a brutally hot time of year for painting outdoors, but he says he doesn't mind; he just needs to find a way to adapt to the heat. He also has strong praise for his wife, Carolyn Casey Figueroa, who not only has managed many of his endeavors but who is always encouraging him.

click to enlarge Figueroa made much progress between the rainy May 31 (above), and the later photos taken the next day. - PHOTO BY MARK REYES
Figueroa made much progress between the rainy May 31 (above), and the later photos taken the next day.
Photo by Mark Reyes


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Contributor Mark Reyes is a native Houstonian, seventh generation Texan, A&M alum, expert in all things Star Trek (ToS), and an avid comic book collector (DC). Mark enjoys documenting current events and pop culture conventions, as well as advocating for animal rights and looking to the future of space exploration.