Department of Art Alumni collaborate on an art exhibition at the Berman Museum in Pennsylvania

Jul. 31, 2018

Art alumni and the co-hosts of the Las Vegas-based podcast, "Latinos Who Lunch" Justin Favela and Emmanuel Ortega have a new collaboration: An art exhibition at the Berman Museum in Pennsylvania.

The exhibition is titled, "Re/Presenting Mexico: Jose Maria Velasco and the Politics of Paper." It features Favela's pinata art and Ortega is curating the show.

Favela was first introduced to Velasco through a class at UNLV taught by his friend Ortega.

“I saw this work and I was like ‘wow! How beautiful. How romantic. How fluffy,” he explained.

He was interested in the idea of the paintings as advertising for Mexico and as a tool for colonialism.

“So, re-interpreting these paintings in piñata form I thought would be really interesting,” he said.

To make his pinata paintings, Favela cuts tiny pieces of tissue paper and pinata style layers them to create a 3-D like image that he says "reads like a pixelated landscape."

“I started thinking about the piñata differently," he said, "This is what this means to me. It represents my culture. It represents Las Vegas because of the ephemeral nature of the materials in a piñata. What else can I do with this?”