Massive Selena mural added to Milwaukee's South Side skyline
Among the late Tejano star Selena's most enduring hits is " Como La Flor," a catchy cumbia tune about love and loss that made sold-out arenas shake and also served as the closing song in her final live performance before her tragic death in 1995. Now, a local artist has immortalized the song — and Selena's vibrant personality — in a new six-story mural in Milwaukee's Walker's Point neighborhood.
Milwaukee-based artist Mauricio Ramirez, with assistance from Tone Gómez, completed the piece in late June behind Zócalo Food Park on the western face of the still-under-construction Taxco Apartments at 625 S. 5th St.
"The south side of Milwaukee is predominantly Hispanic," Ramirez said. "There’s a lot of changes happening in the area, and this is a stamp that says we need to keep that representation here."
"Como La Flor" is Ramirez's second rendering of Selena in Milwaukee; the first was a two-story mural finished in 2017 on a now-demolished building that occupied the same site. The new mural depicts the "Queen of Tejano" in a red jumpsuit accompanied by a large pink rose.
To complete it, Ramirez spent approximately 15 hours per day for about six days using his signature low-poly technique with aspects of photo realism. "It’s a direct representation to her persona, representative of her music and different album covers," he said.
And though Selena's roots were in Texas and Mexico, Ramirez said Selena was an idol for Latin Americans everywhere, including Milwaukee. "I remember growing up at Mexican Fiesta and hearing her music," he recalled.
At 75 feet tall and 35 feet wide, "Como La Flor" is one of Ramirez's largest projects to date, even besting the four-story Giannis Antetokounmpo mural he completed downtown this spring. But this project presented a special challenge of capturing Selena's spirit while working around four columns of windows.
"For something like this, I think it was super difficult," Ramirez said. "The windows dictated a lot of the design and what was the best way to utilize the space and create something that’s going to be iconic for years to come."