Can we talk about Latino Supermarket Art for a minute?
|Artist Roberto, Salvadoran Market Girls Triptych, paint on mom-n-pop. (center panel)|
Today we look at the murals that adorn the front the building which houses Villalobos Market in my barrio, a Salvadoreno market. Most of the art that I find on Latin markets in my neighborhood are pretty crude depictions of farm animals, as if a 10-year-old had painted them. Here at Villalobos on Santa Monica at Hobart, not so. I find these depictions of Salvadoran country life quite skillful and beautiful.
Gotta say, the artist needs to work on the scale of his fruits and veggies.Those are some of the biggest carrots I've ever seen--and a lime slice as big as half a pineapple? We're talking' Blue Ribbon winner size produce here.
These are obviously a commercial commission. The subject matter directly relates to the inventory found just inside the doors. Although I have to say, these are probably the fairest skinned Salvadoran women I have ever seen in my life. And we're talking about a scene of girls who work in an outdoor market, so this artist is working in the realm of ideal feminine beauty rather than within verismo.
There is nary a bit of social commentary or irony in this art. So we have public facing illustration, and truly luscious it is.
On second thought, there is sure as hell social commentary here. I guess the fact that they are light-skinned Indian girls sure says a lot about Central American standards of beauty. They apparently have the same ones as North Americans. And their mamas or bosses? The older women in the picture ... faceless, anonymous, background props. NPCs as they say in the game world--non-player characters. They're a little darker, but not quite as dark as the folks going in and out the door. So there you go.
On the other side of the entry doors to this market are scenes from the farmyard.
No mass-produced livestock here in this picture.
And here is a very well-fed bull, guarding entry to Villalobos Market. These kinds of cattle always seem scary to me when you encounter in person, like at a county fair.
As I have said, in Latin neighborhoods, many of the markets have painted imagery on the outside walls. I'll have to photograph some to post by way of comparison. These pictures by Robert do represent the genre at a level competency that far exceeds the typical level of craftsmanship and artistry.
And here is a rolling pano shot of the market girls:
AND NOW BACK TO OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED SEASCAPE!
Low clouds and blue today.
Hey. gotta jump in a staff meeting. Have a great Thursday.