Two El Paso artists made their way to this year’s Coachella Music and Arts Festival but it wasn’t just to enjoy the amazing music and events; It was to see their 30-foot tall work of art for the very first time!

El Paso artist duo, Los Dos, is made up of husband-and-wife duo Ramon and Christian Cardenas.

I first met Ramon back when I was an eager 17-year-old girl excited for her first job ever at an east El Paso pizza shop. He was a hard worker then and it’s great to see that his hard work has paid off.

Los Dos have been creating amazing artwork in our community for years now and they are  known for creating murals, screen prints, street poster installations, and even a large-scale inflatable sculpture, drawing their characters and ideas from everyday life in El Paso and Juarez, Mexico.

Their work addresses important issues within our border community and it was one specific piece of work that they created back in 2015 that caught the eye of a representative for the American Rock Band, Rage Against The Machine.

“It all pretty much started based on an email we got back in 2019," said Ramon in an interview for State of The Arts with Marina Monsisvais. "We just got an email asking if we wanted to do some artwork for a band and I thought it was a spam email but I responded and gave them my number and got a call back from some reps and they finally told me it was from Rage Against The Machine."

The duo was asked to use their artwork to address the refugees along the Mexico/U.S. border and to allow their work to make a statement about all the issues in our border community that are not spoken about as much as they should be.

“It gave us space and this platform to talk about something people from the border don't get to talk about that often,” said Christian in an interview with State of The Arts.

Los Dos originally created a poster for the bands reunion tour but the tour was postponed due to COVID-19 and that's when Coachella Art Director, Paul Clemente, would swoop in to ask the artists to re-create that poster for their Music and Arts Festival but instead of a poster, the duo would be creating a 30-foot tall work of art!

Los Dos spent a few years working on the 30-foot tall mixed media sculpture which is called, “La Guardiana.”

“La Guardiana towers over the festival grounds wearing an enredo (skirt), a rebozo (shawl) to carry her child, a mask to conceal her identity, and horns to represent strength. She is the guardian of the refugees from Mexico, Central America, and displaced peoples around the globe,” read a description on the Coachella Immersive Arts program’s website.

 

According to the website, the sculpture is an attempt at giving an understanding of the reasons that people make the dangerous journey to strange lands.

“The iconography on her enredo includes people walking and traveling by train and boat toward the border wall,” read the caption on the Coachella website.

Los Dos worked on the sculpture for years but did not see the final product until they stepped foot on site at the Coachella Musical Festival.

“Leading up to the festival it hadn’t really hit us at first,” said Ramon. “To finally see it makes it that much real and gives it that much feeling.”

This is the biggest art sculpture that the duo has worked on and they plan on sticking around at the festival for both weekends to interact with people who may have questions about their piece.

We love to see El Pasoans putting the Sun City on the map and I love to see a power couple doing what they love, together!

 

Court Del Norte Motel