Hector Vari painted hundreds of murals around San Carlos until he died in November 2021 at the age of 90. His son, Mauricio Brandt, carries on his tradition.
While the desert landscape around San Carlos is beautiful, seeing the multitudes of murals throughout town painted by Hector Vari makes the scenery even more spectacular.
Hector didn’t have any formal art training and said that the best teacher was him practicing his drawing and painting in the streets as he was growing up. He did work at an art institute in Nogales for 11 years.
In his final years, Hector’s hands were gnarled from arthritis from holding paint brushes for most of his life. His paint brushes were stiff from paint but he could certainly still create his magic with them.
He painted with acrylic paint because it dries quickly and can be washed.
If you wanted Hector to paint something for your wall or home, you could give him full creative ownership; you could tell him what you had in mind and let him run with it; or you could be specific. For our project, we told him what we didn’t want and then what we liked. He spent 7 hours on our mural (the cacti painted around our glass blocks pictured above). It was awe-inspiring to watch him create another one of his masterpieces. He could paint anything from fruit, to landscapes, to people, to animals, to sealife, and in any size from entire walls to wall hangings.
Hector Vari passed away at the age of 90 after living and creating beautiful murals in San Carlos for 40 years. He never married but was with the same woman for 48 years before she died of cancer. Together they had 7 children. Hector has numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren and leaves behind a lasting legacy.
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