By Phillip Carrillo
Christina Angelina (aka Angelina Christina) has quickly become a favorite artist of many in the Coachella Valley. She is well-known here for the strikingly beautiful and yet controversial mural she painted on the front of BAR in Palm Springs, the Salton Sea mural and the beautiful work she did this summer at Hacienda Cantina & Beach Club.
She grew up in Venice, CA and began painting at a young age and it became a profession for her around age 16. She is now 32. She mostly uses spray paint for her art.
During a recent interview I sat down with her to talk about the evolution of her art.
PC: I hear you travel a lot with your art. What is that like for you?
AC: Traveling and painting is awesome, I love it. It’s the perfect life for me.
I travel all the time. I’m constantly living out of my bag and going place to place painting murals.
PC: I first heard of you from the Salton Sea, can you tell us about that?
AC: The Salton Sea mural was done with my friend FinDac, he was coming into town from London and we were planning on working together for several months all over. We were planning on going to Minneapolis and New York but we both really wanted to do some work in the desert. We’re both really drawn to doing stuff out in an open desert landscape. I found the location from a friend who travels with us as a photographer. When Fin arrived in town we were ready. It took about 1 ½ weeks to finish, staying in Indio driving back and forth. We wanted to incorporate animals present in the area; rattlesnakes, bobcats, raccoons.
PC: When did you first start painting in the Coachella Valley?
AC: I started painting out here….the Salton Sea was the first one! I had been traveling here as a kid. My parents have a house out in Lake Havasu so I’ve been coming to the desert my whole life. I’ve been doing small things out here throughout my life but the Salton Sea mural was the first big thing out here, which then led to Bar which led to everything else in the Coachella Valley.
PC: Why the Coachella Valley?
AC: I really like it here. I think it has good energy and I like the people here. I love sharing my work with the community. I feel all the parts of the Coachella Valley are different from each other: Indio, Slab City, Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs. I like the feel of each place.
PC: Which artists are you influenced by?
AC: I’m influenced by artists working now and artists that worked hundreds of years ago. I have an extensive art history background. I’ve studied at UCLA as well as in Italy and Greece. I’m definitely influenced and inspired by artist who worked hundreds and thousands of years ago and everyone working today.
PC: We heard you were going to be doing something big in Los Angeles?
AC: I did a mural for the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts, and Sciences. It was on the old May Company building on Fairfax and Wilshire. It was the first mural they have ever commissioned. The building was erected in the late 1800s and sits on the LACMA campus. Everyone was so great to work with and they truly loved it. The Director of the Academy came up to me when it was done and said “This is an Oscar-worthy mural” which was awesome. The mural was painted on the building where the entrance was to go into the Hollywood Costume Exhibit, which they were laying the red carpet down for right as I was finishing. That was on October 2. It took 5 days to complete the project. There were a lot of celebrities that attended and had their photos taken in front of my mural.
PC: What else have you been up to?
AC: I have been… since I did the mural at the Salton Sea last September…I’ve traveled to New York, Florida, went to Art Basel in Miami, Denver, I’ve painted at Coachella Music and Arts Festival for the Do Lab, Boulder, Minneapolis, Brazil, a lot of work in Las Vegas as well, all over the place. I keep coming back here. I think I do more work out here than any other place. After returning from Hollywood I was commissioned to do a mural at a private residence in Palm Springs, which I will be completing today (Oct. 7).
PC: Any future projects we should keep our eyes open for?
AC: It looks like I’m going to Brazil at the end of October and Art Basel in Miami, Florida.
PC: Any shout-outs?
AC: I definitely want to give a shout out to FinDac, he’s the one I collaborated with on the mural in front of BAR and Salton Sea, which led us to the subsequent work out here, thank you for all your hard work and awesomeness. Also big shout out to Alex Pesante (@easeonetx) who I worked with on the pieces in the back of BAR and the work at the Hacienda. He’s awesome, I love working with him as he’s brilliant.
PC: Any way to buy your art work, check out photos and keep updated with your projects?
AC: The best way to keep updated is my Instagram, @Starfightera or my Facebook. I will be updating my website soon. I have a studio in Venice and also have stuff at Gallery 446 here in Palm Springs on Indian Canyon. As far as purchasing work, you could contact me directly at 310-795-8578. There isn’t a lot since most of my work is murals.