Artist Eric Vozzola might have only ever lived in Las Vegas, but his imagination allows him to see into the great beyond. That interdimensional vision helped lead art collective Meow Wolf to Vozzola for a 16,000-square-foot mural on the west exterior wall of Area15.
Vozzola completed “Window Into the Multiverse” this spring. The funky, whimsical creation mimics a tear in the fabric of the universe. Beyond the black wall of our dimension lies a desert moonscape, colorful geometric shapes, Joshua trees, foreign suns and the night sky. It’s a little bit M.C. Escher, a little bit Lisa Frank and a little bit National Geographic.
“I basically reached into my entire repertoire and bag of techniques and created another world based on my fusion of geometry, patterns, desert landscape and flora, and overall psychedelia,” Vozzola says in an artist’s statement on his website, ericvozzola.com.
According to Vozzola, the mural represents Meow Wolf’s interaction with Las Vegas. Taking that idea one step further, the native Las Vegan represents the link between Southern Nevada and the Santa Fe-based arts organization, which has built its first satellite location in the not-yet-open “experiential retail and entertainment complex” just west of Interstate 15.
By The Numbers
• The mural is 40 feet tall by 400 feet wide, or 16,000 square feet.
• It took more than 200 gallons of paint and 30 different colors.
• Vozzola and his assistant Derrick Beyenka spent 320 hours hand painting the mural.
“I’m just really honored that I can represent Las Vegas in a sense,” Vozzola says. “Meow Wolf could’ve gone with any other artist—they work with artists internationally. … It makes me super proud each time I can put up a piece that reminds me of the Vegas landscape or that’s inspired by the city.”
To tackle so much square footage, Vozzola used the building’s natural grid structure as a guide. “All the planning kind of went out the window when I got to the wall, because it’s just so big,” Vozzola says. “I used the design as a general road map and then just [went] in and allowed it to be a little more free-form.”
If Vozzola’s distinctive style looks familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen his murals around town. His work has been featured at Life Is Beautiful festival, inside Downtown’s VegeNation restaurant, outside Chinatown’s Cultivate Dispensary and as part of Clark County’s ZAP9 Project.
For the first part of his career, Vozzola earned his living through graphic design while painting in his free time. He loved both fields and wasn’t sure how to reconcile the different worlds. “I was always doing design and art—two ends of the creative spectrum for visual artists,” Vozzola says. “I was always attracted to the design world—very geometric, flat, rigid, almost a digital motif—but I couldn’t get my hands off of painting and drawing, you know, traditional art.”
“Window Into the Multiverse’’ is Vozzola’s largest, most comprehensive work yet. It’s a triumphant balance of his competing tendencies: planning versus improvisation; graphic design versus painting; organic versus digital; and black-and-white versus a prism of candy colors.
“That term ‘multiverse’ really stuck out to me,” Vozzola says. “It was a blanket term for bringing all of this imagery together. … I just embraced my two passions within the art that I do and made them both work.”