Known for his bright, energy filled murals and his intimate small-scale oils, Gabriel Portillo—also known as “Paste”—has a remarkable knack for conveying emotion through his work.
As a child growing up in Alpine, TX, Portillo had the opportunity to take art lessons from local artist, Charlie Bell, which ignited his lifelong love for creating. After practicing throughout his educational years, Portillo moved to Austin as a young adult, and became intrigued by the public and street art, which led him into working on an industrial scale. But Portillo’s inspiration comes in many shapes and forms, and he cites music, people, and West Texas as significant influences. His work ranges from portraiture, landscapes, and abstraction in sizes small to monumental, but each of his expressions—regardless of size or medium—stick with their viewers.
“‘Inspiration is for amateurs. I just get to work,’ Chuck Close once said. That is how I like to perceive the idea of being an artist. Inspiration for myself comes at random moments. I believe if you work great things will come out of that. My work has been a constant representation of exploring new ideas and mediums. I am learner. I love to learn new ways to achieve my desired outcome. There is no limit to creating artwork. I am an oil and acrylic painter in the studio, and a spray painter on large walls. When I look at my work, I see depth in connection with humans. There is a correlation with love when I paint. I do it from my heart and soul. I have been an ‘artist’ since I could remember. The act of creating anything has always been a part of my life, and now that it is my profession. I do not take it for granted. At the end of the day, I want to be remembered as someone who created my way through life by using mediums to beautify this world.” – Gabriel Rene Portillo