February 10, 2012
Working more magic using just a pencil, Kratos works on a new piece.
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Backhoe operator turned artist explodes with color on any surface
Kratos, the popular video-game hero of “God of War,” and Kratos, the not-so-well-known Payson spray paint artist, share obvious similarities: bald heads, bearded chins, scars of battle, and colorful tattoos. Oh yeah — and a rollicking, over-the-top creative energy. A character in a game, however, cannot match Kratos Lira’s inner strength, a drive to create, and the skill to transform a bare surface into a spray-painted marvel of design. Kratos’ current project is helping bring life to a wall with a mural and a salute to the many generations of veterans. You can see it on Highway 87, going south just past the Twin Pines shopping area. Lira, a construction worker, worked a backhoe with precision and skill for 20 some odd years. Originally from San Diego, Lira and his family gravitated to Arizona so his daughter could attend the University of Arizona. Eventually, they found their way to Payson and have recently purchased a home.