Today we’d like to introduce you to Victor “Marka27” Quiñonez.
Victor, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was born in Juarez, Mexico and grew up in East Dallas. My experience as a youth growing up with the challenges of drugs, violence, police brutality and gangs is what put me on the path of creativity. My family was deeply affected by those circumstances and I chose graffiti as my way of escape.
I was fortunate that graffiti exposed me to other forms of expression, which lead to being accepted to Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. While attending high school I had to deal with drive-by shootings, because my older brother was a gang member at the time. My father was an honest, hard working man who became corrupted by drugs and eventually became an addict. My mother worked extremely hard to keep the family somewhat together. My amazing twin brother Julio Quiñonez suffered abuse for being gay and left home when he was 15. I left home shortly after and received a scholarship to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 1999. I’m truly blessed to have received the scholarship, because it opened up a whole new world for me. I lived in Boston while attending SMFA, first Jamaica Plain, then Roxbury. I received the Remis Award and graduated in 2003. I met my wife and partner Liza Quiñonez in Cambridge during this time. We moved to Los Angeles for a few years and lived in Brooklyn, New York for six years before moving back to Boston because I accepted a position designing for Converse. The one thing we always kept consistent no matter which city we lived in was our passion for family, friends and creativity. We curated many exhibits, established meaningful relationships with artists and grew as a family with three amazing kids. We also started M27Designs in 2008. M27Designs is our company that specializes in graphics, product design, brand identity, and other creative services. Over time, Liza had evolved from her role as a curator and artist manager, and we wanted to expand. Our new creative agency, “STREET THEORY,” was born in 2017 and we hit the ground running!
We pride ourselves on creating authentic experiences and bringing art and street culture into all aspects of life and work. We have the privilege of working with some of today’s most talented and influential artists. I thank God for the struggles and blessings that have brought us to this level of success.
Has it been a smooth road?
I welcome each and every challenge. We only become stronger and smarter with each lesson learned. I don’t look at paying dues as a negative because it keeps you humble and hungry for the next project. We love what we do and building relationships along the way. I think what we struggle with the most is keeping a work-life balance that lets us recharge. Lately it’s been hectic going from one project to the next.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Street Theory story. Tell us more about the business.
Street Theory is a Creative Agency and Gallery founded by Liza and myself, based in Cambridge and Brooklyn. Together, we bring 20+ years of experience in graphic and product design, public art production, artist management, event & exhibition production, and experiential marketing for projects commissioned by private and commercial clients throughout Boston, New York and Los Angeles. We create authentic, one-of-a-kind experiences for our clients that infuse art and street culture into all aspects of life and work—from curating art exhibits and producing events to empowering communities and working with some of today’s most talented and influential artists.
We don’t like to be put in a box, and believe today you need to be flexible and not limit yourself to titles or expectations. We like to think of ourselves as a lifestyle creative agency that loves working with passionate like-minded people. Our latest projects have been pretty diverse in scope, from a pop up gallery in Harvard Square that transformed an abandoned bank into a live experiential art exhibit, to a high-end mural and sculptural installation for Microsoft. We also curated and produced the murals for the Underground Ink Block in the South End. We are most proud of “The Underground Get Down,” a huge cultural celebration that happened last summer at the Underground. We had an attendance of four thousand people from all walks of life. It was an amazing experience to see everyone enjoying good music, art, food, dancing and just feeling good vibes.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
We believe in being open minded no matter how any industry shifts. Bruce Lee once said, “Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” We know in order to stay ahead of the game you have to be the one to initiate change and not wait for it to happen.
- Address: Cambridge location: 9 May Street Cambridge, MA 02138Gallery Studio: 248 Creamer Street Brooklyn, NY 11231
- Website: street-theory.com and marka27.com
- Phone: 6462036704
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @marka_27 and @streettheorygallery
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/streettheorygalery/
- Twitter: @MARKA27