MASS Features: #MURALIZE // HERBERT GALARZA • By Ed Burnette

17496216_10209896695028972_209556690_nHerbert Galarza is an artist that has an intriguing story of ups & downs and highs & lows, something that most identify with. His current project at “The Hive” property, located at the corner of Flagler Drive & 9th St in Fort Lauderdale’s MASS District (Music & Arts South of Sunrise) in Flagler Village will debut during the MASS District // March FTL Artwalk March 25 (6pm – 10pm).


15181508_10209664040750956_8565556175655147564_nGalarza creating a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Mural

The bold colors and content used at what can be identified as “POP ART” are designed to be as eye catching as possible. This has been a welcomed addition to the MASS District, described by Phillip Valys, writer for the Sun Sentinel, as a thriving enclave of artists and musicians rising up in the shadows of downtown Fort Lauderdale.

17362348_10154644522889132_8300195178071148923_nPhotographers posing their clients in front of Galarza’s work

16730425_924963074306109_2846326373472911344_nGalarza’s Grutman & Gervais lightsaber piece

The Bolivian born Galarza, now 25, came to South Florida at 8 years old. He attended high school in Texas, and traveled back and forth to South Florida in his early years at several attempts to pursue his art career. At that time, he had no clue about what was to transpire in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami that he would later partake in. After leaving behind his rebellious years and his rebellious style of graffiti, he returned to South Florida from Texas determined to make it. Galarza caught the attention of South Beach nightlife mogul David Grutman, described by Wikipedia as a Miami-based restaurant, nightlife and hospitality entrepreneur. David Grutman is owner of LIV, Story, Komodo, Komodo Lounge and the recently opened OTL. He is credited by Rolling Stone magazine as being one of the most important people in electronic dance music. Because of his love for music and all things art and Miami, Galarza created a piece of art depicting Grutman and Cedric Gervais fighting using Lightsabers named “The Never Ending Battle”. Posting it on Instagram, Grutman was tagged in the post and that was when things really started to happen for Galarza. As the power of social media took over, Grutman purchased the piece of art from Galarza and quickly gained commissioned jobs for more pieces of art and murals.

image1Galarza’s Grutman proposal mural to his now fiance, Isabela

When asked what projects he is most proud of, he wasted no time in describing the Mural he did for David Grutman and David’s wife to be, Isabela Rangel. Grutman commissioned Galarza to paint a mural as a wedding proposal with Isabela’s face, and the question, “Will You Marry Me?”. After surprising her in Wynwood with this mural in front of cameras and celebrities such as Hulk Hogan, she grabbed a spray can and marked the yes box! Galarza describes that moment as something he will never ever forget.

17155845_936765189792564_1135708758744249061_nGalarza’s Marilyn Monroe feature at The Hive

After networking with the some of the most important people in the Miami Music scene, Galarza was commissioned do more murals promoting events such as Ultra Music Festival. Winning a call to artists that he did for Paris Hilton‘s album cover, he gained notoriety, press, and a huge social media following. He credits his success and current status to hard work, determination, and some suffering. He also credits his success to his business partner, Galarza’s very well mannered and educated cousin, Stefan Banach (aka ‘Stevie’), owner of the new coffee shop Bean 2 Brew, opening this spring in the MASS District at The Hive. Banach has been Galarza’s strength in time of need, a friend, business partner, and someone that has been there through the good times and bad. When asked why had he been there through thick and thin, Banach’s reply was simple, “Because he’s my cousin and it’s inspiring. He has also inspired me to return to follow my dreams, as my goal was to be in the culinary industry and that’s why I’m opening my coffee shop”.

Screen Shot 2017-03-23 at 1.12.39 PM
(L-R) Cousin/Business Partner Stefan Branac & Galarza


16665863_923777421091341_7991645388196051431_oHerbert Galarza, Fine Artist & Muralist

Galarza’s involvement in the Fort Lauderdale art scene has been through a chain of events that all stem from one thing – Determination. He has since done murals on several buildings in the MASS District, currently wrapping up his Pop Art project at The Hive. This mural feature faces such as Marilyn Monroe, Bob Marley, David Bowie, Salvador Dali and Jimi Hendrix tied into a honeycomb-like textured design with vibrants colors, fades, and gradients throughout. This bold mural wraps around the entirety of the two buildings comprising The Hive and is especially set to show the local traffic in the area that they are in an Arts District. Banach, with his coffee shop venue, has since joined the MASS District as a Venue member, so Galarza & Banach’s involvement with the MASS District will go beyond just these murals. When asked where Galarza sees himself in the future, he replies, “I see myself based in Miami (Wynwood) and taking my career to the next level”.

Well done, Galarza.

Further Reading:

  • Information on becoming a Venue or Creative Alliance member of the MASS District can be found at


Led by Ed Burnette (Art Attack) & Sean Russell (Lesaruss), MASS Features is a series of written & video content featuring the members & activity that comprise the MASS District (Music & Arts South of Sunrise).


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