It’s two or three in the morning, and the quiet of the night has a 13-year-old kid by the name of Mario Enrique Figueroa Jr. on high alert. He’s positioned himself in an alley behind a convenience store in Houston’s East End and he’s prepared to outrun anyone in uniform if it comes to that.
Years later, he will describe the nightly missions of his adolescence as “military-esque,” complete with reconnaissance plans and escape strategies. In a way, what he and other youth were doing in the early ’80s was a kind of urban warfare. The fight, at least Figueroa’s personal one, was one of aesthetics, even if authorities didn’t see it that way.
“You want to leave your mark, leave something beautiful,” he says. “But you know in a heartbeat something could go wrong. You’re out there with a giant risk hanging over your head, but you’re fighting to leave your art.” ... READ FULL ARTICLE click here