The artist is coy about the location of the murals: "I can't say specifics on where they are located, but I can say I chose places that looked abandoned and lifeless. One of the exciting things about painting portraits is being able to bring life and emotion to objects and surfaces that were once without. Also these figures just seem to match with the moods. A mysterious surreal combination. "
The artworks are created with traditional oil paint: "I use it in a traditional old masters' technique, mixing both loose brushwork with very tight strokes of sharp lines. I'm always trying to make the paint have a juicier texture to really help the portrait come alive."
The water and the elements could ruin the artworks any minute, so these portraits have an expiration date by design: "Oil paint outdoors definitely isn't the best and it doesn't last nearly as long as acrylics, but I kinda like that my figures have their own lifespan."
There is not a lot that Yoro can do in advance before working on each artwork: "Since the walls I find are all so different, each with its own set of problems and variables, there's no one way to prepare. I try to do enough research in advance so that things will go smoother."
Each painting takes anywhere from a whole day to three or four days to complete, depending on the size and detail.
On his decision to leave Hawaii for New York, Yoro says: "I left with nothing but $800 and two boxes of art supplies and clothes. I had no plan and no school. I wanted to chase my passion, and thought that at the least the experience would be a good story to come back home to."
Why portraits? "One of the exciting things about painting portraits is being able to bring life and emotion to objects and surfaces that were once without. Also these figures just seem to match with the moods. A mysterious surreal combination."
Unsurprisingly, Yoro is a surfer: "Surfing has been part of my life since I was a kid, so naturally I had broken surfboards lying around the studio. One day I decided to put one on the easel and paint a face. I loved the composition and feel, so I made a whole series of them. It just made sense to me."
Painting from the precarious balance of a floating board might seem like a very stressful task, but it's actually not as bad as it looks: "I use a lot of ropes and anchors to keep me in place and steady, and the board itself is pretty stable when it's locked in. I usually choose places with minimal waves and tide changes too, so it feels just like any other platform. Having a strong surfing background probably hasn't hurt either!"
What's next? "Like most things in my life, I don't try to plan too much into the future. I only plan to stay true to my passion and see where it takes me. Currently in the works are more water murals and even hopping onto land for some figures who blend in with their environments."