Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Thank You For Coming hosts MIAMI!!!


It has been a crazy whirlwind of a week.

No more 9-5. Goodbye health and dental insurance, consistent income and security. KaBoom.

Moving on....
Working souly on my first residency is.....WORK! So much work, but then again I tend to be enthusiastically masochistic in my practice, and I savor every second of the self perpetuated chaos! Well, mostly.
Designing the space, menu and creating relationships with the hommies at Thank You For Coming, the whole thing is somewhat unreal, in the most delicious way possible.
Can I just say that the Thank You For Coming crew is pretty amazing for taking on this feet!
This is such a great place and I'm so honored to have my first artist residency there!!

Here are some details:


LA Novela Special - December Residency

As you walk through the entrance door of Thank You For Coming, you are greeted by intoxicating smells of sazon, mojo and manteca wafting in the air causing you to hyper-salivate. You try your best to focus on the disclaimer / menu of the night written on the glass door despite the hurricane of distracting colors, d├ęcor, Spanglish and music commotion bouncing around.
Packed with a fantastic Thank You For Coming crew, visitors and surprises, you have found yourself in the flurry of a live novela / restaurant. That’s right.
Maybe Miami’s cupid skills cause a love connection totalation among the crew! Maybe Miami’s ex-lover unexpectedly shows up to profess his undying love to her. Picadillo and Arroz y Frijoles to be on the menu, his favorite dish. Or maybe Miami misses her long lost Mami Miami
, causing her to serve Croquetas in her honor. Or maybe Miami’s arch nemisis, Cuquita challenges Miami to a live cook off…Ay Dios mio!!...who knows.
Once you are seated this gives you a moment to take it all in, or as much as you can before SHE, the infamous Spanglish speaking hyper embellished booty shakin’ Miami, comes to ignite your dining experience. The walls and tables are bright and steaming with Who knows what will happen today, but regardless you are hungry, intrigued and committed to experiencing…L.A. NOVELA SPECIAL!
And Miami shall deliver! (cue dramatic music)

First night of the drama is December 5th!

SOFT OPENING


We had our "soft opening" (I love that expression!) on Saturday December 1st and it was a complete blast. It had been sometime since Miami  re-emerged but once the patrons started walking in the door, it felt quite natural despite the anxious anticipation. The crew, flowed right into it too.

La Miami - Foto by Paul Choi @ahoyPaulChoi

ThankYou For Coming mid Bling out - Foto by Paul Choi @ahoyPaulChoi


Flan divino- Foto by Paul Choi @ahoyPaulChoi

Cafecito Rico - Foto by Paul Choi @ahoyPaulChoi

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

HUELE, OYE, Y JAMA,...it is that simple.



I feel very lucky lately.
Some how my obsession with food and its ability to act as a disguised vessel for story telling is giving me so much faith. I feel clarity in what I want to do and how I can pursue that. Finally.
Two weeks ago I "performed" in San Francisco as part of the current exhibition Circular Motion: Subverting Circumscription curated by the ever so lovely Cuban art enthusiast Sheeka Arbuthnot.
The evening was in honor of my recently deceased grandfather, Jorge Victor. (What a name right?)
When Sheeka approached me, without knowing it, I was in need of a way of finding some closure about this loss. I was not in Miami when he passed and there is something very profound about loosing the patriarch of the family, regardless of how flawed, reclusive and complicated of a man he was.
He is a huge reason I love food. He taught me to eat ugly things and not be scared to make them.
After his passing, my father and I did what many people do when you suffer a loss like this,.....we drank tequila till we couldn't anymore and talked about my abuelo/ his father. To my surprise, my grandfather was in charge of one of the busiest ports in Cuba before the revolution. Once in exile in Miami, he owned a small welding company then a hardware store called Victor's Hardware, in Little Havana. I had no idea because well, he wasn't the best husband and aside from that and the delicious seafood dishes and liver and onions he made...I apparently knew very little about him except that he always smelled like beer and old spice and that music and me were the only things that triggered his sense of humor.
Humble as his existence and departure was, I wanted to honor him by cooking something he would appreciate and share it even if the audience/guests had little to no connection to the premise other than myself. When he passed, I asked my father to send me his record collection. Abuelo had them haphazardly stacked on his couch, knowing very well he would spend his days listening to them, smoking his hundreds and drinking his tall boys, alone.
So on November 3rd, with the help of the amazingly devout Meridian Gallery volunteers, we set up tables. One for the cases of beer Lagunitas brewery graciously donated to the event. One for Abuelo's records along with a record player for attendees to engage with and play and a third for the cooking!
Over 50 people attended. I made fresh seafood stew in batches from a hot plate in my trusty pressure cooker.
We had toasted cuban bread from my favorite bakery in Los Angeles, Gigi's Bakery in Echo Park and I had my grandfather's picture tucked in my shirt over my heart.
The event was so well attended by my amazing friends and strangers as well. To my surprise, I did not get too choked up or emotional. Quite the contrary, I was comfortable and floating easily between hugs,  introductions and cooking.
It confirmed for me how healing and integral food is to the everyday.
While in San Francisco, I was contacted by an artist residency I had applied for in Los Angeles informing me I now get the opportunity to cook and perform for the month of December!!! More to come on that.
PURPOSE.










Monday, October 22, 2012

Maja Ruznic: Raw Woman on the Rise

I can't help but admire humans who make an art of telling their life stories and how those stories have made them who they are. It is a deeply brave thing.
I have to share this short on someone who I deeply admire.
Maja Ruznic is a San Francisco Bay Area Artist. I won't list her credentials, that's what the internet is for. (She doesn't have a wikipedia page, yet, but it is only a matter of time)
Maja's work has taken off in the last couple of years since she was featured on the cover of American Painters.  
Adoro a esta mujer! I love the sincerity and fragility in the images she creates. She's a pretty amazing human and a tenacious artist. 
She is what I'd like to call, A Raw Woman on the Rise.
Dale con dale mija!



Sunday, October 21, 2012

EDDIE HUANG!!

How did I not know about this guy sooner??? HOW! So fucking right on.
dale con dale Eddie.


LATINA WOMEN AND THE BODY especially BOOTY

I was sincerely wishing I was in Miami again last week. A series of lectures were held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami and co-organized by their Education Outreach Coordinator Jillian Hernandez, a PH.D. candidate in Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University. 
One of the panel speakers was Dr.Myra Mendible, a scholar who's work I greatly admire - I am pretty much obsessed with reading anything she publishes. She has the ability to meld her experience as a Cuban/American woman while clearing breaking down contemporary culture and trends in relation to the female body and latin identity (I'm modestly summarizing and not even getting close to doing her work justice).
I was totally bummed to not have been there for the lectures but, I reached out to both Dr. Myra and Jill to express my gratitud for the work they are doing, and received warm responses. It is work and research such as theirs that gets me further pumped enough to have the cojones to do the work I do, scary as it always is to pull from your intimate experiences, and expose them for all to see. 
Tambien, if you are interested in reading about the big booty trend.......I suggest this

http://mocanomi.org/2012/10/latina-women-the-bodydr-myra-mendible

En espiritud......MIRA NENITA ESTAS ENTERITA Y TIENES TREMENDO...CULO!

Photo by Tomo Saito of Dojo 

Me presento

Hello y hola. 
Although I am quite late in the blogging trend, this chronicle is a long time coming. The delay can be soley due to indecision. I knew I wanted to create a blog but could not for the life of me decide what exactly it would be about. Art? Latinos in the media? Food? Promoting responsible consumerism? Random phenomena? All of which I have quite a bit of experience in fishing about in the interwebs and in my everyday.
Finalmente, I said, fuck it,...my blog will be about everything and anything. It will be bilingual. It will be my third space. And yours if you so desire it to be.
Enjoy. Fight back. Contribute. Dale con dale.

-EstaAquarela