Diamond Heart Shines Color on the East Side
The “Hearts of the East Side” campaign features 11 different artists with unique and deep connections to Austin’s east side. The goal: promote more love and sense of community in the neighborhood. For a little over a mile stretch, the 11 heart installations are placed in various East Austin businesses and residences. This side of town is already extremely deep in culture and creativity, and the addition of the new hearts only enhance that.
Nathan Nordstrom, better known as ‘Sloke One’, is an Austin graffiti artist legend. He’s been creating his unique work all over Austin, and especially the east side for years.
“As a native Austinite, I have been painting on the east side of Austin since 1990. I have many friends that have grown up on the east side, and as a teenager I would visit frequently,” said Nordstrom.
He got involved with the “Hearts of the East Side” campaign when approached by Selena, the curator behind the project.
His heart, Diamond Heart, sits at 2303 E Cesar Chavez St, the headquarters of east side favorite, Juan in a Million.
Diamond Heart is a brightly multicolored masterpiece that’s hard to miss. Nordstrom detailed his design and installation process:
“My process starts with the sketch” explained Nordstrom. “And then painting the heart on the panel which was in two pieces. After applying a clearcoat, the heart was then put in the metal frame.”
The inspiration for this heart structure stemmed from Nordstrom’s perception of the east side’s culture.
“I wanted something really colorful. Something that I felt would represent the energy of the east side and the diversity that I have found growing up here in Austin.”
Nordstrom’s specialty is spray painting, as seen in his heart installation. He’s traveled all over the world creating works of art and organizing art shows.
Some of his graffiti art has included projects for Apple, Nike, Google, and the University of Texas at Austin.
Though Nordstrom has grown in popularity and success, he stays connected to his roots and still takes the time to give back through teaching art and mentoring the youth of Austin.
Nordstrom may travel far and wide creating his work but, Austin is home. “I started painting murals in east Austin around 1990… And I still do to this day.”
Be on the look for more colorful displays of graffiti art and that signature “Sloke One” tag in the bottom corner around Austin.