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:
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.