Inspired by classic cars, his Mexican culture, and his native Denver, CO, Mario captivates the viewer with bold acrylic colors on large canvas to polish his favorite classic low riders. Aiming for a realistic look thanks to close attention to detail, Mario’s paintings quickly catch the eye. Resourceful, Mario doesn’t let the only canvas size available in the colorado prison he is incarcerated in be a limitation. Rather, he will organize his vision on a diptych board or even transform these limitations into a dynamic piece that reached millions of viewers on social media.
Mario is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder, an act for which he carries profound guilt and shame.
“Every day I wake up I realize that there is one less person on this earth because of my callous actions and that I am also responsible for having caused hundreds of people trauma due to that senseless act. But most importantly I devasted the family of my victims leaving them scared traumatized for the rest of their lives, was well as dishonoring my own family especially my daughter.”
Mario has served thus far 16 years of his life sentence and in the last 12 years, he has tirelessly worked to become the man he is today.
“I strive every day to live the rest of my life without violence and to live with the purpose to help others live a better life in and when they get out of prison. I will live in honor of the life that I took.”
Mario is a Mental Health Peer Assistant at Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility, his duties as such include helping other men who suffer from many forms of mental illness such as Schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety disorder.
Mario has been artistic his whole life and is adept in many different mediums including Graphite pencil, pen, color pencil, markers, acrylic paint, paper mache sculpting, cake decorating, pumpkin and wood carving.