Flying Luchador 2 by Teresa Bosko
Flying Luchador 2 by Teresa Bosko

Flying Luchador 2. Copyright 2015 Teresa Bosko. All Rights Reserved. Suspended life-size painted plywood. El Gato Taqueria, Akron, Ohio.

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Flying Luchador 1 by Teresa Bosko
Flying Luchador 1 by Teresa Bosko

Flying Luchador 1. Copyright 2015 Teresa Bosko. All Rights Reserved. Suspended life-size painted plywood. El Gato Taqueria, Akron, Ohio.

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Flying Luchador 1 by Teresa Bosko
Flying Luchador 1 by Teresa Bosko

Paper template. This guy plays lead in my band... Copyright 2015 Teresa Bosko. All Rights Reserved. El Gato Taqueria, Akron, Ohio.

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Flying Luchador 2 by Teresa Bosko
Flying Luchador 2 by Teresa Bosko

Cut from plywood. Copyright 2015 Teresa Bosko. All Rights Reserved. El Gato Taqueria, Akron, Ohio.

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Flying Luchador 1 by Teresa Bosko.
Flying Luchador 1 by Teresa Bosko.

Cutting the stenciled design. A loose interpretation of style and motifs borrowed from popular Mexican street artist Nuezz, and others. I wanted to create the look of a body-tattoo/costume on the figures. Spirals may symbolize the journey of life, as well as strength. Copyright 2015 Teresa Bosko. All Rights Reserved. El Gato Taqueria, Akron, Ohio.

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Flying Luchador 1 by Teresa Bosko
Flying Luchador 1 by Teresa Bosko

Cutting the stenciled design. The luchador was first painted with several coats of black acrylic gloss enamel, then completely taped-over with masking tape. Key elements of the design were sketched-in first, then the rest were "ad-libbed" with my trusty X-acto knife. Copyright 2015 Teresa Bosko. All Rights Reserved. El Gato Taqueria, Akron, Ohio.

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Flying Luchador 1 by Teresa Bosko
Flying Luchador 1 by Teresa Bosko

Cutting the stenciled design. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is a revered symbol in the Mexican culture signifying Jesus' compassion for humanity. Copyright 2015 Teresa Bosko. All Rights Reserved. El Gato Taqueria, Akron, Ohio.

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Flying Luchador 1 by Teresa Bosko
Flying Luchador 1 by Teresa Bosko

Painting the stenciled design. Several very thin coats of flat white paint were then rolled over cut-out areas. Copyright 2015 Teresa Bosko. All Rights Reserved. El Gato Taqueria, Akron, Ohio.

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Flying Luchador 1 by Teresa Bosko
Flying Luchador 1 by Teresa Bosko

Painting the stenciled design. Copyright 2015 Teresa Bosko. All Rights Reserved. El Gato Taqueria, Akron, Ohio.

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Flying Luchador 2 by Teresa Bosko
Flying Luchador 2 by Teresa Bosko

Cutting the stenciled design. In Mexican culture and folk art, the Sun is a positive symbol of life. Copyright 2015 Teresa Bosko. All Rights Reserved. El Gato Taqueria, Akron, Ohio.

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Flying Luchadores by Teresa Bosko
Flying Luchadores by Teresa Bosko

Flying Luchadores 1 & 2. Copyright 2015 Teresa Bosko. All Rights Reserved. El Gato Taqueria, Akron, Ohio.

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Flying Luchador 1 by Teresa Bosko
Flying Luchador 1 by Teresa Bosko

The mask. I went through many, many different variations of masks... the simplest one was best. Copyright 2015 Teresa Bosko. All Rights Reserved. El Gato Taqueria, Akron, Ohio.

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Flying Luchador 1 by Teresa Bosko
Flying Luchador 1 by Teresa Bosko

Completed. That glitter mask is A-OK! Copyright 2015 Teresa Bosko. All Rights Reserved. El Gato Taqueria, Akron, Ohio.

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Flying Luchador 1 by Teresa Bosko
Flying Luchador 1 by Teresa Bosko

Installation. After painting the walls, I moved the paper templates around to determine best position for hanging the wooden luchadors. Yellow area was carried over from other side of partition and would soon be flowers. Copyright 2015 Teresa Bosko. All Rights Reserved. El Gato Taqueria, Akron, Ohio.

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Flying Luchador 2 by Teresa Bosko
Flying Luchador 2 by Teresa Bosko

Installation. Yellow areas of facing walls were masked-off for stenciling. Copyright 2015 Teresa Bosko. All Rights Reserved. El Gato Taqueria, Akron, Ohio.

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Flying Luchador 2 by Teresa Bosko
Flying Luchador 2 by Teresa Bosko

Installation. Stenciled flowers ready for embellishment. Copyright 2015 Teresa Bosko. All Rights Reserved. El Gato Taqueria, Akron, Ohio.

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Flying Luchadores by Teresa Bosko
Flying Luchadores by Teresa Bosko

A chandelier got a fresh coat of gloss black Krylon... Once hung, I added red crystals & a luchador bottle opener. Copyright 2015 Teresa Bosko. All Rights Reserved. El Gato Taqueria, Akron, Ohio.

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Flying Luchador 2 by teresa Bosko
Flying Luchador 2 by teresa Bosko

Installation. Sweet! Copyright 2015 teresa Bosko. All Rights Reserved. El Gato Taqueria, Akron, Ohio.

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Artist Teresa Bosko
Artist Teresa Bosko

Artist Teresa Bosko in the studio during the making of Luchadores 1 & 2. "Well, it's kinda like a luchador mask..." Copyright 2015 Teresa Bosko. All Rights Reserved. El Gato Taqueria, Akron, Ohio.

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Decorative Trim by Teresa Bosko
Decorative Trim by Teresa Bosko

A curvy, scalloped design to lend a folksy, happy feel to the interior design. Copyright 2015 Teresa Bosko. All Rights Reserved. El Gato Taqueria, Akron, Ohio.

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 Luchadores & Decorative Trim

SUMMER 2015: After a long, hot day in the studio, a trip to the grocery store brought me face-to-face with a long-time friend I hadn't seen in 15 years: Danny Basone, owner of the wildly successful Lockview Restaurant in downtown Akron, Ohio.  Fresh off the plane from LA, he told me he had been researching street-taco joints for his new venture, El Gato Taqueria, which was in the beginning phases.  After  a bit of a pause, (I could see the wheels turning in his head), and with a twinkle in his eye, he asked me if I "still did art...?"  Why, yes, YES I DO!

That was the beginning of a fun-filled, furiously creative and warp-speed busy year.  Outlining the restaurant's theme of Authentic Mexican Street Tacos + Luchadores + Sci-Fi (vintage shows & movies play on TV's) + Surf Music, he gave me one directive: "Go WILD!"  Aye Carumba!  I had my work cut-out for me, as I was then in the middle of a double move, (studio & residence). 

I began by doing research... lots & lots of it, scouring the internet and library for all things related to the theme, especially Luchadores, as this was an area unfamiliar to me.  I wanted to create an atmosphere that was "over-the-top-more-is-more," without being gaudy or cheap-looking, to compliment the simplicity of the food.  Refraining from using Day of the Dead imagery was also important, because it's used everywhere, and we wanted to create a one-of-a-kind experience for the patrons.  Throughout this entire project it was absolutely necessary for me to honor traditional, as well as contemporary, Mexican artistic style, whether that be a piece of vintage folk art, or an urban street art mural.  Borrowing freely from the many beautiful examples I encountered in my research, I worked hard to maintain the works' original integrity, while tweaking it enough to make it my own.

 

I started with the Flying Luchadores and Decorative Trim, working on them simultaneously while packing and moving to my new studio.  The chandelier was a piece I acquired while on a house-painting gig, and I was able to spray it in my empty former studio before returning the key... perfect timing!  The process of making the Decorative Trim was one of my favorite parts of the whole project: labor-intensive in a meditative way, fabric-like in it's decoration.  I plan to incorporate more of this look in a future piece.

The Restroom Luchadores were made at the request of Danny, who took  a liking to the comical figures found throughout the Decorative Trim.  They never fail to bring a smile to customers' faces, and provide a great selfie-op!