Know Your Street Art: Spiritual Connection

The aliens resemble the sort of creatures that Hollywood has imagined for years, but these aliens look like they're having fun and, well, that they've come in peace. Nice, playful aliens? Yes, says Laura Campos, the artist who did the work.

Located on the side of a bar, Spiritual Connection relates to Campos' experience in Sedona, Ariz., where she went around 2001 after a friend had passed away. With its red-rock formations and desert atmosphere, Sedona is known as a spiritual center. Campos' visit changed her life — prompting her to become an artist, and to do work that promotes things of interest to her. Spiritual Connection is based on a painting that Campos did.

“I do believe there is life in other galaxies, and that they are in constant communication with us,” Campos says. “I painted Spiritual Connection when I was trying to communicate with the spirit world, and I was trying to figure out who I was.”

“I did see some stars shinning very bright at night, and they would disappear and move in strange ways,” Campos says of Sedona. “I don't know if they were UFOs or not. I only felt like they were not from this planet.”

Painted on the bar's well around 2005, Spiritual Connection is Campos' first mural in San Francisco, where her work can be found throughout the Mission District. Campos, who was born in Mexico and raised in Houston, lived for more than five years in San Francisco, where she perfected her artistic skills by working with the Precita Eyes organization. Campos moved to the Netherlands in 2014, and now lives an hour from Amsterdam. Because Spiritual Connection was her first independent mural commission in San Francisco, Campos painted it for free, after the bar's owner insisted he couldn't pay her. But when the building's owner found out, he paid Campos what he thought she deserved.

“The owner of the building came (to the bar) one night and said, 'You did a great job. I hope he paid you well,' and I said, 'No — he didn't pay me anything,'” Campos says in a video chat from the Netherlands. “He said, 'What!?' I said, 'It's OK — it's my first big mural.' And he said, 'Oh, no.' And then he took his wallet out and pulled out, like, $700. And he said, 'Here, you can have this.' I said, 'You're crazy.' And he said, 'No, you've earned it.'”

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