Wednesday, April 19, 2017

"Makin' Groceries...": Post #3

This scene represents the colonnaded walk in the French Quarter that now has stores built in its center portion. This walk was one of the first places in the city to have gas light starting in 1860's, which was very modern and high-tech in its day. Native Americans were also omni-present in the market all the way until the 1950's, from what some old-timers tell me. To me the most important thing was that there were more ethnic groups in constant contact with each other in New Orleans than any other place in the country perhaps, with the exception of New York, at that time...

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

"Makin' Groceries...": Post #2

Here is another scene from my Breaux Mart mural. New Orleans was the first port in the US to import bananas around the turn of the last century. My imagery is based on two photos, one of which was taken in 1904, and the other soon afer.

Monday, April 17, 2017

"Makin' Groceries in Early New Orleans", Post #1

The new mural for Breaux Mart's Toledano Street wall is now complete- or perhaps I should say, I've stopped myself from working on it! As may folks say, it's not easy for many artists to declare a painting completed, especially one on this scale! This is definitely my most challenging project to date, and Salvador Dali sometimes spent a year working on paintings smaller than this wall. All this said, the mural includes six historic vignettes framed in tromp l'oeil arches, to help transform an ordinary cinder block wall into something in the spirit of 19th century architecture. Each view is designed and painted to make you feel as if you are looking through the wall into another time when we did not simply pick up all our sustenance from one store. The first one I want to share is the milk wagon, which made rounds through the neighborhoods, parked near the Ursuline Convent with a nun approaching to purchase milk. It is based on a photo of a "milk man" taken in the late 19th century, clearly in the French Quarter- most likely Decatur Street, though I have used artistic license in placing him near the convent and adding the nun, who would have been a common site in that area into the 1950's or '60's.