Category Archives: Las Vegas Backyard Wall Series

The Las Vegas Backyard Wall Presents: Justin Favela

Justin Favela Puro Jale BWP High Res

The Vegas Backyard Wall is a local Downtown wall settled in a residential neighborhood in the shadow of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas. The wall is open to invited artists that have radical ideas for it. Each artist will paint over the previous artists work and will be documented by time lapse photography. Parties are held when the work is done to celebrate the work. 

Directly translated, “Puro Jale”, means “pure pull” or “just work.” This is a term heard growing up at family gatherings and backyard parties. The term is almost used as a greeting:

“What’s new?”

“Puro jale.”

Justin Favela had something very special in mind for the Las Vegas Backyard Wall. Justin’s work is directly inspired from his Mexican heritage, and in order to create this special piece it was going to take a whole lot of preparation and hard work. So the Saturday before the party Justin headed out to the nearby Home Depot parking lot to employ the help of 3 day laborers with the construction of his art wall. Very few questions were asked, and 4 men got in the truck, and that was that. Paulo, Arturo, Miguel and Juan spent all day Saturday gluing tissue paper in shades of green to the wall’s surface, and wrapping individual Piñata letters in black and metallic gold tissue under the direction of Justin. We all sat down and enjoyed lunch together, we found out where everyone was from and enjoyed a few Brooklyn beers. As the work finished in the afternoon, Todd Miller took Polaroid portraits of each of the men in front of the now fully tissued green wall, the men looked them over in admiration and asked if they could take them home. Todd who rarely gives away original photographs, gave them each theirs to keep, and we left the day with the project almost complete and some new friends made.

As Saturday came the words “Puro Jale” stood proudly, outlined in shimmering gold in front of a sea of green, a proper dance floor was ready for the tunes that Jason Wilda was ready to mix and the Brooklyn Lager and Brown Ale were as cold as ever. We had grill-master, Dave, firing up some carne asada and chicken that would be complete with beans, rice and classic Sopa dishes served family style.

Justin’s family and friends joined in some dancing and as the sun went down behind the Las Vegas Stratosphere and the night sky got dark, the letters began to rise in the air. Todd got on the mic and explained Justin’s process and the day laborers to the crowd and the catch phrase for the night may have been “Art can be made anywhere, at any time and for $12 an hour”. Justin then got on the mic and introduced his Grandma, aunts and cousins that were there, and explained the traditional way to smash a piñata. The kids lined up shortest first and all gave it a swing; the letters bobbing in the air as JW and Jesse pulled the puppet strings from behind the wall. Finally some goodies were released from the piñata art and everyone scrambled to grab what they could. Just had filled the art pieces with candy and Brooklyn schwag, but the other items within represented terms for money: Cabbage, Cheddar, Carrots, Bones, and Bread. Harking back to Justin’s artwork and the underlying message, and as Justin put it “working hard Monday through Friday to make that cash, and then get destroyed on Saturday!”

The Wall in traditional Backyard Wall fashion was taken over by the party-goers with spray cans and paint pens as the last of the tortillas were snatched up. But there was still Brooklyn Beer to be drank, so the party continued even as the DJ wrapped up the records, and an impromptu guitar session broke out on the dance floor as a small group was left to enjoy the singing and dancing that would continue until the glow of the sky in the east sent us all to bed for the Summer.

 

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The Las Vegas Backyard Wall Presents: Travis Jackson

Travis Jackson BWP Final Hi Res (4) resize

The Vegas Backyard Wall is a local Downtown wall settled in a residential neighborhood in the shadow of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas. The wall is open to invited artists that have radical ideas for it. Each artist will paint over the previous artists work and will be documented by time lapse photography. Parties are held when the work is done to celebrate the work. 

With the first event under our belts, Travis tackled the wall with intensity. With eight days of painting, paper-transfers and immense line-work, Travis patiently dedicated his busy daily routine to bring the public this very special piece of art to the Backyard. Wonderful stories, laughs, amazing home-made curry, spontaneous ice-cream breaks and sushi comas filled the week of what would be known as “drippy tips”.

The night of the closing party, the crowd enjoyed well-rounded pints of the classic Brooklyn Lager and Brown Ale on tap. We couldn’t have asked for a better chef, as Josh Horton kept doling out slider after slider all perfect and mouthwatering. Who could not love bacon wrapped, pulled pork and kielbasa?! It seemed the food was never-ending and we are fairly confident the guests are still talking about it today.

As Las Vegas’ own The Steady Extras took the stage that was most recently set-up in the Backyard, all the former guests of these events were taken aback that we had provided yet another level of art to the night they had come to expect. The Steady Extras played with passion and vigor as our friends and fellow artists took it all in; as one guest commented: “their drummer doesn’t mess around, does he?!” The set ended with a rendition of the Beatles “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” and the wall was prepared ahead of time to “bleed” paint from the top edge of the wall, covering Travis art with dripping paint during the last song. However, as with all art, you never know if it will work until you try it. Well, we tried……..regardless, the wall was buffed over to a clean white slate for the crowd to be inspired with rattle cans, paint pens, and when those ran out of fluid, they resorted to sand art- raking intricate designs into the dirt-covered Yard with their hands. Travis brought some of his hand-printed zines and the art-lovers were encouraged to pick-up a hand-screened Brooklyn T-shirts that Travis had adorned with a graphic inspired directly from his wall piece that was now just a memory.

As with all of these events, the party winds down after the art is gone, and all of the Brooklyn Beer has been drank! Smiles and hugs and promises to never miss another event were shared with us as we said our good byes to everyone that came out to support the Las Vegas Art Community. Once again, the unbelievable emotions that come with knowing we are connecting our neighborhood and artists in a way that feels so organic is something that cannot be explained with our simple words.

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The Las Vegas Backyard Wall Presents: Aaron Sheppard

Aaron Sheppard Mermaids BWP Final (5)

The Vegas Backyard Wall is a local Downtown wall settled in a residential neighborhood in the shadow of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas. The wall is open to invited artists that have radical ideas for it. Each artist will paint over the previous artists work and will be documented by time lapse photography. Parties are held when the work is done to celebrate the work. 

From our friends at The Vegas Backyard Wall Project:

The first party of 2014 three artist series was kicked off on a beautiful Saturday evening in March. The week prior to the closing party brought friends of the artist, the curators and simply neighbors by to watch Aaron work live. With 7 days of painting, whiskey shots, beers, and countless stories around the bonfire, the tone had been set for what would be an evening of the same intimate and instantaneously nostalgic moments.

Although the Las Vegas Backyard Wall project has been going strong for two years, the bar was raised on everything for this event. With our new partnership with Brooklyn Brewery, the crowd was able to enjoy the classic Brooklyn Lager on tap. The lager was perfectly paired with a locally raised 50 lb. pig that was beautifully seasoned and roasting in a cedar and coal covered box centrally located within the yard. As the crowd started to file into the backyard, the beautiful and tortured artwork of Aaron Sheppard set the backdrop for what would be an amazing evening of community and art inspiration. Art lovers, old friends, new friends, beer connoisseurs, foodies, bicycle riders, musicians, writers, local business owners, family, neighbors, esteemed colleagues, political figures of the community all came together to see what the always entertaining Aaron Sheppard had to show.

Donning a spontaneously hand-made shell bikini bra inspired by the artwork, Aaron was beyond excited to share his view and concept behind the 8’ x 20’ hand painted mural with his guests. As the beer flowed so did the conversations, hugs and laughs. Shortly into the party, the pig was fully cooked and ready to be chopped and served. Todd and JW meticulously carved up the tender servings of chopped pork as the crowd gathered to watch the spectacle.

The guests were entertained by two pirates that had showed up with a treasure map, leading them through the backyard. The treasure they found was a golden bucket of paint that they dug up and proceeded to paint “X”s across Aaron’s nautical sirens of the sea until it was fully covered, and would become a blank canvas for which the crowd would express their own creative minds. Paint cans and paint pens of all colors flew around, passed from person to person as guests collaborated on their own backyard wall mural. As the paint pens and cans fell to ground and the guests stepped back to admire that the work they came to enjoy was gone, a shooting star that only they got to see, friends said goodbye with anticipation for the next artist event.

As the final guests left for the evening, a few remaining contemporaries sat around the still burning fire, groggily chatting, decompressing, and taking in what was a truly organic moment in Las Vegas’ art history. The ideas and stories that were shared in those final moments and faded into the evening are those that story books romanticize about and cannot be manufactured. Only the excitement for the next artist in April can sustain our eager and art-thirsty minds.

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