SAN ANTONIO – Local artist Michael Sanchez is the creative genius behind a mural that has caught sports enthusiasts’ and art aficionados’ attention.
The larger-than-life masterpiece has become a must-see attraction in our community, and he says his hobby has turned into a therapeutic and now recognized passion.
“So, one day, we’re just sitting in the living room, and I said, ‘You know what, I’m going to try to paint something.’ And I did, and it came out good. I posted it, and you know, people started buying my content,” said Sanchez.
Sanchez said it was during the height of the pandemic in 2020 that he discovered his passion for art.
“I’ve always been into a little sketch here and there, but I picked up a paintbrush, and I fell in love,” said Sanchez.
His artwork covers everyone from Vicente Fernandez to local boxing sensation Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez and a mural painted as a memorial for the Robb Elementary School shooting victims in Uvalde.
Fast forward to today, Sanchez is finishing a depiction of the young basketball prodigy Victor “Wemby” Wembanyama. He said he was inspired by a draft created by digital artist Soy Empire.
“I reached out to the owner of Mark’s Outing, and I showed him, and then I reached out to my friend, and I asked him if I could use his image. So I put it on this wall,” said Sanchez.
Sanchez says he was inside Mark’s Outing watching a football game when an unexpected guest visited the mural. It was Wembanyama himself.
“Wow, I was just amazed at how tall he is. I mean, it was just awesome,” said Sanchez.
Sanchez said he started the mural on June 26 and finished two days later. It took him roughly 20 hours to complete, and he said the drivers who would honk while he was working on it inspired him to perfect the mural of Wemby.
“It was a paintbrush, and it was a mixed media. So, it’s spray paint, a little bit of airbrush, a little bit of marker,” said Sanchez.
Sanchez said meeting Wemby was a total surprise, and the athlete even autographed his mural.
“He was everything I thought he would be meeting him in person. He’s young. He’s very humble. You know, he showed respect, and he showed a lot of love for my mural, which I mean, that’s awesome,” said Sanchez.
Sanchez said murals serve as a source of inspiration for our community and hopes to make his passion full-time.
The mural is located on the city’s East Side at Mark’s Outing at 1624 E. Commerce St.
Sanchez can be followed on Instagram here.