December 1, 2019
Southern Nevada–based artist Justin Favela’s work embodies the qualities of Las Vegas by affirming the startling originality of smart near-copies. Last spring, I visited Favela in his temporary studio at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Reliably buoyant, Favela can shed light on seemingly any aspect of the folklore of contemporary Las Vegas. The complex and teeming overwhelm of the city imbues his work. In the studio, he mused on Siegfried and Roy’s late white tiger, the four-hundred-pound Mantecore, who bit Roy onstage at the Mirage and left him paralyzed.