EL GATO TAQUERIA
Viva El Gato!
Taqueria, Akron, Ohio.
As the defining centerpiece art, I wanted this to be one big, beautiful mash-up of the multi-faceted El Gato theme: A Luchador Hero's Mexican Fiesta, complete with Dancing Senorita, the Guitar-Smashing Godzilla, and a Rocket-Riding Space Surfer, all celebrating together in an energetic burst of riotous color and form. It had to vibrate with a controlled mayhem, cheer the heart, and exude good-will and hospitality. It also had to be accessible to the general public; graphically crisp, powerfully engaging, well-crafted, and fun.
It was important for me to set the bar high on this first large composition , as I knew it would force me to try to "out-do myself" on subsequent pieces. Getting a
"Wow!-response" was also extremely motivating, and added to the excitement about the upcoming opening.
I would be lying if I said it all came together smoothly... Quite the opposite, it was artistic boot-camp! For me, the first work in any series is usually a proto-type. I make and remake, working-out all the kinks, determining what elements will be common to the entire body of work. I look & think. Then look again. Shuffle stuff around, re-work, cut, start-over, look & think... again and again. Letting the piece reveal itself is the key. Anytime I try to force it, it always falls short. This intuitive process sometimes causes yuge anxiety, especially when there's a deadline looming and it just won't work! It's really an exercise in faith & trust, and very humbling to realize that I'm just a channel... Eventually, things go from bad, to ugly, to worse, and then... YES! That's always a great big giddy, moment.