A Mexican Artist Made Bear Rugs Out of Gang Members from MS-13

Have you ever seen a bear rug made out of cholo skin? Now you have.

Credit: Renato Garza Cevera / Art Mur

Here’s a close-up.

Credit: Renato Garza Cevera / Art Mur

Scary, right?

scary-ghost ms-13-scorpion
Credit: Renato Cevera / Art Mur

Mara Salvatrucha 13, or MS-13, is a notorious gang with roots in Los Angeles. It has thousands of members in the US and El Salvador.

And another made out of an 18th Street member.

Credit: Renato Garza Cevera / Art Mur

18th Street, another gang founded in Los Angeles, was initially a Mexican-American gang but has since become primarily Salvadorian.

They’re the work of Mexican artist Renato Garza Cevera.

Credit: Renato Cevera / Art Mur

The bear rugs, created between 2005 and 2007, are a collection of sculptures from titled “Of Genuine Contemporary Beast.”

And he made them look scary for a reason.


Garza Cevera believes that gang members have become scapegoats for societal problems created by “others.” His art attempts to present how minorities are depicted as “uncapable of thinking or feeling.” By turning them gang members into bear rugs, Garza Cevera is saying if we see people as scary animals, we dehumanize them.

Read more at Art Mur

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