The collaboration between artist and community at "Piñatatopia" is simple. Visit Justin Favela during residency hours at P3Studio and draw something that represents Latino culture to you. Favela then curates which images work as a piñata and he adds it to the growing installation.
So far each completed assemblage of paper, glue, cardboard (and whatever else he has on hand) could mark a moment in a Latino cultural timeline, and not in any particular order. That would be too sterile and take away from the celebratory aura in the room. A party is being planned and Favela is your host.
The lime wedge and hard-shell taco are common recalls of the homogenized Mexican-American in bar and café culture. The flowering plant is a cactus at first glance, but also looks like the Tequila bearing agave plant. Hiding in the back of the studio, and still dominating the space, is the head of a Catalinas, the female spirit of Día de Muertos.
Even the references to Latino culture become post-modern Chicano art when hung from the ceiling as cultural experience.
“Chicano light,” suggests Favela while sitting at his workshop table working on the next piñata. That’s true. His Mexican and Guatemalan pedigree has him embedded in urban Mexican-American art, and an observer.
I drew something as a proposed piñata. La Chancla, the sandal as disciplinary parenting tool sometimes hung on a wall or patio pole as a warning. I have some cousins willing to take a vengeful ironic whack at it with a stick.
Another proposal would be to have these piñatas recreated in larger scale and be motorized down a downtown Las Vegas street as a spectacle. A Piñatatopia Public Art Parade, and Favela would be the Grand Marshal.
Justin Favela "Piñatatopia" I PIX: PAINT THIS DESERT
Seven Magic Mountains
Art Production Fund
Nevada Museum of Art