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“Who pays you to do that?” the guard asked.

“No one,” the artist answered.

“Then why do it?”

“To help you think.”

It worked, as the guard stood contemplating whether the old farm couple was holding M-16 rifles instead of pitchforks.

During a recent interview, the renegade artist smiled easily as he described his mission with Zen-like tranquillity. He said he started the protest attacks in October when he got tired of working a high-pressure agency job creating art for advertisements.

“In a country that’s sinking, using art to boost consumption rather than to provoke social change became unbearable for me,” he said.

Now working fewer hours at a cultural center, he has more time and greater flexibility for his project.

Standing over a gas stove in the outdoor garden of a friend’s home in Tegucigalpa’s historic center, the artist stirred a boiling pot of the glue he uses to affix his posters.

He said the catalyst for his mission as an anonymous urban artist came when he entered a UNESCO poster contest on cultural diversity. When he lost the contest, he decided that the institutional doors for supporting his idea were closed.

“The natural place for art is the street; forget the middleman,” he said.

He has created a dynamic that includes making his own glue by boiling wheat and water, which he said is “the best adhesive and cheap,” and roaming the city on Sunday afternoons seeking vacant walls and inspiration. His accomplice, the documentarian Junior Alvarez, keeps watch while he works, then photographs the final piece.

“At first, I had anxiety when I went into the streets,” the artist said, “but now I’m used to the adrenaline.”

Art critic Bayardo Blandino, curator of the Contemporary Visual Arts Center of Women in Arts, said Urban Maeztro’s style of graffiti is new to Honduras and he is pushing the limits on the country’s freedom of expression.

“If he continues with perseverance, he will get a loyal following and have an effect,” said Mr. Blandino, who does not know Urban Maeztro’s true identity.

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