Pale Horse Design Jumps In to Lucha Libre
In Mexico there is a tradition of amateur wrestling that transcends our conventions in the States. Lucha Libre, Spanish for “Free Wrestling,” is a display of pageantry that bridges the gap between backyard wrestling and professional. It is an art form all its own, relying on characters and performance to create mini dramas within the ring. And as Chris Parks, the man behind Pale Horse Design, can tell you: there’s nothing else like it. “The sound of Lucha Libre in Mexico City is different from anything I’ve ever heard before,” says Chris. “It’s a really exciting style of wrestling, it’s acrobatic and the characters with the masks and costumes are very dramatic and exciting and flashy.” Chris’ love for Lucha Libre has extended beyond being merely a fan, inspiring a curiosity in him that lead him down a road to today. This evening, “Pale Horse Lucha: The Art of Lucha Libre” opens at Nova 535 in St. Petersburg, Florida.
For Chris, the world of Lucha Libra was a rich mine to tap creatively, and he started by using the style and characters as a springboard into his own creative process. “After watching a lot of this live wrestling, I had met some other wrestlers that had seen some of the work I did for WWE. So it was kind of an instant connection,” says Chris. “I had started just creating my own masked characters and showing them to these guys and they were really interested in taking on these personas. So it was never really a plan, just one thing lead to another.” Through these new connections he found someone to make the masks of his characters (a gentleman who had trained for his craft in Mexico), eventually making entire costumes, backstories, that have all built to the match at his show this evening.
The personas of luchadores (the name for the wrestlers) aren’t created in an artistic crucible like Chris’ Oraculo and Serpentico, and Chris knows this. But it’s not really something to stress about. “Everything we’re doing is a little bit different and not really worrying about the way that it’s been done in the past, but really kind of creating our own thing,” he explains. At the end of the day, he’s taking inspiration form this tried and tested tradition, and it’s entertaining people which is the ultimate goal. “I’m creating my own cast of superhero characters that I can use as my inspiration for the illustrations, and then people can watch them actually battle it out in the wrestling ring,” says Chris.
If you want to see that display, tonight is your chance! Pale Horse Lucha is tonight! Get your tickets here!