Innovative artist serves up a real taste of Mexico

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 14 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 14 August, 2007, 12:00am

It might seem loco, but painter Joe Bravo's medium of choice is the tortilla. The Mexican-American artist is at Sha Tin's New Town Plaza until Sunday, demonstrating his work drawing on the flat bread, which is the food staple across Central America.

'At first, everybody thinks I am crazy, but later they are intrigued,' Bravo recalled. 'Back in college about 35 years ago, I was assigned to do an art project. I had the paint and brushes, but I couldn't afford a canvas. I looked at a tortilla and said to myself, 'why not paint it?''

He sees himself as an ambassador of Mexican culture although Bravo hails from north of the border in San Jose, California. He says it's something of a Mexican tradition to paint on everything from walls to cars. 'A lot of it is because we were poor. We couldn't afford canvases. Actually we couldn't afford a lot of things. But what better way to express your culture than something you eat?'

But don't try to snack on his artworks with a little salsa. 'When I was experimenting with it, I would lay them out, and my dog ate one coated with varnish, and he gave me a guilty look and never did it again.'

However, because of the varnish, his tortilla art will last a long long time. Bravo's displays will continue until August 23.