Liquid acrylic, cotton rag mat, vintage Los Angeles street map, 99.9% pure silver leaf, 24k gold leaf, resin, on deep-cradled wood panel
36" x 36" x 2.75" unframed
Signs can tell you a lot--even beyond the obvious. Jim's sign advertising tacos, pastrami and burgers is signaling the cultural makeup of Boyle Heights, where the restaurant is located. The area was among the city's most diverse beginning in the 1930s. Hispanics, Eastern European Jews, Asians and African Americans lived side by side during a time of rampant housing discrimination in Los Angeles.
Today no one would consider those foods exotic in the least. But the fact that most people are indeed familiar with them is indicative of our great melting pot at work--in this case quite literally--bringing together cultural traditions and adding them to what we now readily recognize as the American culinary experience.