piñatas

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Art

MIMOSA: An Optimistic Collection of Temporary Installations Take Over Philadelphia’s Navy Yard

September 23, 2020

Grace Ebert

Justin Favela’s “Libertad (Freedom).” All images courtesy of Group X, shared with permission

An eclectic array of installations recently popped up at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia, transforming the historic neighborhood into a temporary wonderland teeming with quirky characters, large-scale interventions, and optimism. A life-size piñata shaped like a 1984 Thunderbird is parked on 12th Street, cross-stitched roses trail across the brick facade of Building 99, and a typographic message casts shadows on a pavilion in a call for hope.

Officially titled Mystery Island and the Marvelous Occurrence of Spontaneous Art, or MIMOSA, the entirely outdoor exhibition includes work from seven artists DAKU (previously), Justin Favela (previously), Kid Hazo with South Fellini, Reed Bmore, Liesbet Bussche, and Raquel Rodrigo (previously). It’s a collaboration between the anonymous collective Group X and the Navy Yard, which was overrun in 2018 by a gargantuan sea monster. MIMOSA‘s six site-specific installations are spread across 1,200 acres.

 

DAKU’s “Ray of Hope”

Activated by sunlight, DAKU’s installation “Rays of Hope” casts shadows in 25 different languages on a brick terrace in Crescent Park. Throughout the day as the light shifts, so do the silhouettes on the ground. “The sun has always been associated as a symbol of energy and so is hope,” DAKU says. Rays of light metaphorically serve as “a symbol of positivity and optimism.”

By translating the word “hope” into dozens of languages, the anonymous Indian street artist puts forth a welcoming vision. “When we see a native language, we have a sense of belonging and familiarity with the space. Especially in a foreign land or a place, it makes it more relatable,” DAKU writes. “Languages have been a part of every culture and (have their) own visual aesthetic… Culture is common ground for any language or a form of visual art, and if one comes to think of it, language plays an essential role. It binds the culture in forming into a community.”

 

Justin Favela’s “Libertad (Freedom)”

A nod to his mother’s first purchase after immigrating from Guatemala to the United States in the 1980s, Favela’s paper-fringed car expands on the myth of “The American Dream.” “The promise that if you keep your head down, work really hard and save your money… you, too, can own a home with a two-car garage, get married, have kids, build an empire, and live an abundant and dignified life,” he says. Through his large-scale piñatas, Favela conveys stories like his mother’s, particularly in relation to her longing to return to Central America. “What about the immigrants that come here and realize that they moved to a country that does not want them here? Their stories are also important,” he says.

Questions about identity, including his own as a first-generation, queer, Latinx American, and the experiences of people who have immigrated to the U.S. face inform Favela’s artworks. He subverts common narratives by offering a revised way of thinking centered on joy:

What are we when we are not viewed as just a labor force? What if we stopped taking pride in suffering and the sacrifices that we had to make? What if we valued joy? Mental health? What if we could take a couple of days of…just because!? What would happen if could just be ourselves? When will we all be free?

See the latest from GroupX and follow the installations popping up next in The Navy Yard on Instagram. If you’re in Philadelphia, check out MIMOSA before it closes November 2.

 

DAKU’s “Ray of Hope”

Raquel Rodrigo’s “Florecer (Flourish)”

Reed Bmore’s “Bittersweetvine”

Liesbet Bussche’s “Rusty Love / Urban Jewelry”

Kid Hazo + South Fellini’s “Where the Wild Jawns Are”

 

 



Art

Fantastical Creatures From Illuminated Manuscripts Recreated as Piñatas by Roberto Benavidez

December 6, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Robert Benavidez looks to famous paintings and literature for source material for his metallic piñatas, such as Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights (previously). The Los Angeles-based artist’s most recent series Illuminated Piñata pulls characters from the Luttrell Psalter (c. 1325-1335), a famous medieval manuscripts. The book contains illustrations of fantastical hybrid creatures, which Benavidez further explores by creating three-dimensional sculptures using traditional piñata motifs.

Works from his Bosch series will be on view at the Riverside Art Museum in Riverside, CA in the group exhibition BEAST, opening February 2, 2019. You can see more of his sculptural piñatas on his Instagram and website.

 

 



Art

Mexican Paintings, Lowriders, and Nachos Transformed into Piñata-Inspired Sculptures by Justin Favela

August 15, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

"Fridalandia" (2017), paper, glue and found objects, installation at the Denver Art Museum, photo by Mikayla Whitmore

“Fridalandia” (2017), paper, glue and found objects, installation at the Denver Art Museum, photo by Mikayla Whitmore

Justin Favela creates colorful artworks that center around his identity as a queer Latinx artist living in the Southwestern United States. The artist’s piñata-inspired pieces reference his Mexican and Guatemalan heritage and explore elements associated with his family, pop culture, food dishes, and the art world. Each life-size installation or colorful nature-based “painting” is constructed by layering multi-colored cut paper or using the papier-mâché technique seen on the popular party object.

“I have been making a lot of work using the piñata as a medium because I see it as the perfect symbol that stands for my identity and by using it, I am reclaiming the piñata and the culture it represents,” Favela tells Colossal.

One of his large-scale lowrider piñatas was recently included in the Peterson Automotive Museum‘s exhibition The High Art of Riding Low: Ranflas, Corazón e Inspiración. You can see more of the artist’s work on Instagram.

"Popocatepetl e Iztaccihuatl vistos desde Atlixco, after Jose Maria Velasco" (2016), paper and glue, 64 x 82 inches, photo by Mikayla Whitmore

“Popocatepetl e Iztaccihuatl vistos desde Atlixco, after Jose Maria Velasco” (2016), paper and glue, 64 x 82 inches, photo by Mikayla Whitmore

"Gypsy Rose Piñata" (2017), found objects, cardboard, styrofoam, paper and glue, 5 x 19.5 x 6.5 feet, photo courtesy of Petersen Automotive Museum

“Gypsy Rose Piñata” (2017), found objects, cardboard, styrofoam, paper and glue, 5 x 19.5 x 6.5 feet, photo courtesy of Petersen Automotive Museum

"Valle de México desde el Cerro de Santa Isabel, after Jose Maria Velasco" (2016), paper and glue on board, 64 x 86 inches, photo by Mikayla Whitmore

“Valle de México desde el Cerro de Santa Isabel, after Jose Maria Velasco” (2016), paper and glue on board, 64 x 86 inches, photo by Mikayla Whitmore

"Ahuehuete de la Noche Triste, after José María Velasco," 24 x 15.75 inches, photo by Mikayla Whitmore

“Ahuehuete de la Noche Triste, after José María Velasco,” 24 x 15.75 inches, photo by Mikayla Whitmore

"Floor Nachos" (2017), cardboard, paper, glue and found object, size varies, photo by Simon Mills, The MAC Belfast

“Floor Nachos” (2017), cardboard, paper, glue and found object, size varies, photo by Simon Mills, The MAC Belfast

"Doritos, Nacho Cheese" (2015), cardboard, paper and glue, 36 x 36, photo by Mikayla Whitmore

“Doritos, Nacho Cheese” (2015), cardboard, paper and glue, 36 x 36, photo by Mikayla Whitmore

"Piñata Motel" (2016), paper and glue on existing motel, photo by Krystal Ramirez

“Piñata Motel” (2016), paper and glue on existing motel, photo by Krystal Ramirez

"Lowrider Piñata" (2014), cardboard, paper and glue, 5 x 19.5 x 6.5 feet, photo by Mikayla Whitmore

“Lowrider Piñata” (2014), cardboard, paper and glue, 5 x 19.5 x 6.5 feet, photo by Mikayla Whitmore

 

 



Art

Figures From Hieronymus Bosch's Paintings Recreated as Sculptural Piñatas

August 17, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Artist Roberto Benavidez focuses on the art of piñata making in much of his sculptural practice, producing birds, sugar skulls, and paintings out of the same technique used to create the iconic candy-filled party object. His latest series of piñatas focuses on the work of the 15th century Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, reimagining Bosch’s 2D figures as life-size sculptures.

Although most of the pieces focus on the various bird figures in Bosch’s work, Benavidez has also sculpted a blue, armless frog and a winged boy from his famous work, The Garden of Earthly Delights. You can see more of his sculptural piñatas on his Instagram and website. (via Hi-Fructose)

 

 



Design Food

Piñata Anatomy

May 7, 2012

Christopher Jobson

This made me smile hugely. Piñata Anatomy by Minneapolis-based Carmichael Lynch of Carmichael Collective. (via laughing squid)

 

 

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