EL GATO TAQUERIA
Full Belly, Happy Heart
Delicious authentic Mexican street food and a great beer selection. Loud, raucous Surf music. Outlandish vintage Sci-Fi movies. Big, bold, color-filled Art. Orange and red walls. Mood lighting. Add to this environment happy people making-merry and the place is busy, not only in function, but visually. I felt it needed a visual anchor, a place to "cleanse the eye-palette," so to speak...
Directly opposite the service line was the remaining 20-ft. section of wall that still needed art. Perfect! By using an all-white piece, not only does it provide a time-out from the surrounding color, but it also reflects light towards the line, brightening the area. The clean white of the art doesn't compete with, but rather, complements the food, keeping the focus where it belongs.
I think of this work as being somewhat like the "fraternal twin" of Speak No Evil, which hangs at the other end of the wall, in that they both share a common vibe, or spirit, as well as visual and symbolic elements. I was especially excited when in my research I discovered that "Panza Llena, Corazon Contento" was indeed an authentic Mexican proverb... sweet!
Making this piece was both meditative, and an exercise in self-discipline: I had to measure and figure and measure again; cut, cut, cut, sand, sand, sand... again and again; stay away from color! As difficult as this sometimes could be, it really provided a nice opportunity for me to relax into a more structured way of working, inspiring some new ideas for the future.