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Where you can find this Big Red-sipping Santa in San Antonio

Colton Valentine's latest creation can be seen near the San Antonio Museum of Art.

SAN ANTONIO — He's painted eye-catching murals of David Bowie, Bad Bunny, Cardi B and Vicente Fernandez on San Antonio's walls. But for his latest work, one of San Antonio's most prolific muralists, Colton Valentine, tackled a celebrity bigger than all of them: Santa Claus. 

With a puro San Antonio twist, of course. 

"I just was thinking, 'How can I paint something different than what I've ever seen, but still represent San Antonio?'" Valentine said. 

Sitting at 317 West Jones Ave. near the San Antonio Museum of Art, his Big Red-sippin' Santa smiles and watches over a section of northern downtown. Created over the course of five days – between rounds of rain and work on other projects – he's an impressive creation, backdropped by an Alamo City skyline and massive moon as he rests ahead of another busy Christmas night. 

But aside from being impressive-looking, he's also endearingly South Texas—sporting a face tattoo, brown eyes, and skin that's darker than typical Western depictions of Old Saint Nick in Coca-Cola ads or Black Friday flyers. 

"I did all this on purpose, so there's some way for the locals and Hispanic cultures to resonate with this more so than the typical, blue-eyed Santa Claus," Valentine said. "It's gonna resonate with kids who'll be like, 'That Santa Claus looks like my uncle.'"

Valentine, who's amassed a 16,000-strong following on the Instagram account where he shares his work, isn't done with the Christmas-themed murals. He says he's got at least three others in the works... and hopes to have them completed in time to organize a public downtown mural hunt, complete with a prize. 

"I just want everyone to smile," he said about the reactions he hopes his take on Santa inspires. "We need more love right now."


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