You may not know who Luis Fitch is, but you have probably seen his art. From T-shirts to taco shops, Fitch has been consistently using a combination of gallery openings, street art, and branding opportunities to make himself a recognizable symbol wherever he goes. Other artists might think he is selling out, but he doesn’t see it that way—he just wants his work to reach as many people as possible.
“One day you will see my work in a gallery, the next in a pop-up restaurant, and the next day on the corner of the house, and you get a box of tacos and it will be right there. I’m excited about the intersection of all the things. [I’m] not just doing artwork for collectors to go to their houses,” Fitch says.
Fitch grew up in Tijuana, Mexico. His love of art started at an early age, drawing and painting in his free time. It wasn’t until he took an art class at school that his career began to take off. One of his teachers, an artist from Mexico City, recognized his talent and offered to put on a showing of his work. Only three people came—his parents and a friend—but it was too late. Fitch was hooked.
After moving to San Diego with his family at the age of 20, Fitch went on to attend the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. He began cultivating his own style, freelancing for small businesses in both California and Mexico, eventually establishing his own design agency in Minneapolis, UNO Branding.
His work sits at the intersection of graphic design, fine art, product development, and vandalism. Fitch says he once heard it described as “brandalism.” Showing in art galleries as often as street corners, Fitch focuses on making his art available to the community and as affordable as possible. Fitch says that his art is often associated with Day of the Dead, but that to him it’s much more than that.
“All these, to me, don’t represent death— they represent real people in a symbolic way, and they are always in black, so there is no color skin. So, it can be a white person, a Latino, African-American—it’s more universal,” Fitch says.
The art Fitch created for this month’s cover ties in the “Death” theme in obvious ways, but the artist says he wanted to go deeper.
While he was growing up in Tijuana, Fitch could ride his bike with his friends to the border, where there was a door in the border wall they could go through. They would cross, go to a 7-Eleven, get ice cream, and then head back home. Now, with all the turmoil at the border, Fitch wanted to represent what he saw: mothers trying to make it to the U.S. with their families only to be separated from their children.
“It’s not a super obvious piece, and I wanted to do it like that. That’s where my state of mind is right now.” Fitch says.
When asked how he thinks the community reacts to his art, Fitch shrugged. He isn’t overly concerned if people like it or not—he is more interested in the impact and what it represents. Still, it seems to be well-received. The majority of people like his work and some can afford to buy his art, but he says money is not his primary goal.
“I am more interested in fellowships and scholarships, and having exhibits and making money so I can do other versions of the same type of work; I can give it out in the street. That’s a model that I really like. I try to reach everybody. It started as a Mexican thing, but the message can change,” Fitch says.
Medium: Mixed media
Currently resides: Minneapolis, MN