Houston artists Alex Roman Jr. and his mother, Sylvia Roman, don’t remember when they started working together. Their collaboration evolved out of similar tastes, interests, and experiences. Alex grew up drawing, and saw his mother’s success with her paintings, which depict things like Frida Kahlo’s boot with her prosthetic leg attached. As Alex started his own professional career, he developed a style he calls a “remix”—for example, a portrait of Tupac Shakur in the style of Pablo Picasso to make “PACasso,” or Slim Thug in the style of Jean-Michel Basquiat for “Bossquiat.” At some point, Alex and Sylvia became a duo—and a force. Now better known publicly as Donkeeboy and Donkeemom, their work can be seen all over Houston and pays tribute to everyone from Selena to astronauts to Houston native George Floyd.
In this Being Texan video, we spend a day with Alex and Sylvia as they collaborate on their latest mural, learning more about their process, their relationship, and the hardships that have brought them closer.