Dave Briggs’ inventive, colorful themes brighten storefronts, bringing an eclectic, homey feel to Albuquerque’s main streets.
BY RENE THOMPSON
Muralist and tattoo artist Dave Briggs has been in the news lately for an international award that his iconic Astro-Zombies mural won. It’s actually the second time the mural of comic book heroes and villains has been acknowledged; the first win came in 2013.
Briggs says he’s honored, and especially appreciates an outpouring of support that followed a local newscast’s failure to mention his name in a story. After that report aired, local artists and their supporters shared it on social media, voicing concern over the fact the artist wasn’t named.
Since that online outpouring of support, two other news stations have approached Briggs for interviews, offering him previously lacking media recognition.
“The mural has been reported on at least a dozen times. It’s seven years old, but they never mentioned my name,” Briggs said.
Briggs has worked as a local mural artist for more than 20 years. He painted his first mural here in 1992 at Tall Tale Comics, and his work graces businesses throughout Albuquerque. From Thin King Press and Masks y Más to Greek Geek Food Truck and dozens more, Briggs’ art is all over our city’s map.
His unmistakable aesthetic style can also be found at many of our town’s tattoo shops. Briggs’ inventive, colorful themes brighten storefronts, bringing an eclectic, homey feel to Albuquerque’s main streets.
Briggs says the Astro-Zombies mural is his favorite because it represents a major transition for him. Between personal losses and the recession, Briggs was feeling pretty low when Astro Zombies owner Mike D’Elia agreed to hire him for $50 per day.
“I was on the side of that building for eight weeks. I started in a coat and finished it in a tank top,” Briggs said. “Ever since I was 4 years old, we would pass that intersection, and I would constantly see this giant blank wall. I always wanted to paint that wall.”
Rene Thompson is a staff reporter at ABQ Free Press. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.