For the last 20 years or so, the town I live in has not invested in art. It baffled me. I witness the huge impact art makes on a space, on the people who enjoy that space, every day that I go to work. I live and breathe art transformations. I didn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want that for our community.
But when my current client, Manuel Martinez and owner of La Viga restaurant, said, “It’s like getting a tattoo on my business” I had an epiphany: public art is like trying to get a whole city to agree on what kind of tattoo they want. No wonder consensus over public art is elusive!
Although it’s only paint- definitely not tattoo permanent- a mural is an identity statement that becomes part of the fabric of the environment. With the La Viga mural, Manuel wanted the artwork to be hip, casual, and celebrate the most established food market in Mexico, the La Viga market in Mexico City.
The artwork starts above the table line because they are going to install booth seating along both walls.
Here are before and after images side by side. Quick quiz: Would you rather choose to have lunch in the room on the left or on the right?
Now that I have a better perspective on what a big decision it is for a business, let alone a city to commit to a single work of art, I am even more amazed by Flores. Flores is an island located in the Azores, which is part of Portugal. I am headed there next month to embark on my most ambitious project yet. They have invited me to come paint their town which currently consists of uniformly white and exposed concrete walls. As the project coordinator put it, “You have the entire town of Santa Cruz at the tip of your brush.”
My clients are not the only ones who take a leap of faith. I’m right there jumping off the cliff with them. I have been doing this a while, so I am more comfortable with the leap. I’m excited. Excited to see what I come up with and excited for the town to experience the transformation. The creative direction is to celebrate the natural beauty of the island, with the intention of tapping in to and developing greater pride of the island among residents.
I’m looking forward to sharing the adventure with you!
Cheers to the leap,