Drawing from the material culture of his Chicano background, Justin Favela creates sculpture that questions the line between art and everyday life. In his large-scale work Lowrider Piñata
, the artist recreates a 1964 Chevrolet Impala—a classic icon of lowrider culture—in the familiar materials of piñatas: multicolored tissue paper and cardboard. Hanging from the gallery ceiling as though rearing up on hydraulics, the sculpture presents a mash-up of recognizable touchstones reflecting Favela’s heritage.
Born and raised in Las Vegas, the artist also uses visual elements of casino culture in his work. The attention to surface, the obsession with glitz, and the outsized nature of his sculpture all point to characteristics that define the visual experience of his hometown. At once celebratory and farcical, colorfully appealing yet literally empty, Lowrider Piñata asks you to consider how cultural icons gain meaning.