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Beer on Broadway

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Friday, August 07, 2009, at 09:12AM
beer on broadway Ed Fuentes

Heineken USA credits Paul Botello for this new mural at 4th and Broadway.

The commercial Heineken sign with mariachis under festive flags has been replaced by a commissioned piece designed to support the beer company's current marketing campaign "give themselves a good name." It's one in a nation wide series that adapts the campaign for the Hispanic market. Called "Demuestra Quién Eres," roughly translating to "show who you are and what you're made of," it uses twenty-two Latino artists from New York, Miami and Los Angeles.

For 4th and Broadway, the prolific Paul Botello was commissioned to use the space on the north facing wall of the Judson as part of Mural Art Series that offers, according to Heineken USA, the opportunity to create "cultural landmarks in each community" by offering established and emerging artists to "showcase their works for millions to see."

"The Heineken Murals Art Series was developed to support and celebrate local Latino artists while bringing culturally-relevant art to Hispanic neighborhoods," said Shane Hoyne, Senior Brand Director in a statement from Heineken USA. "These individuals have 'shown who they are' through their artwork, and they are great examples of what Demuestra Quién Eres is all about."

Botello offers a party at an almost multicultural rave at what appears to be a rooftop with a generic skyline. While it certainly brightens up Broadway, without the cultural details normally seen in Paul Botellos pieces, presumably working within the confines of marketing directive, the mural has no cultural fizz.

The style Botello is really known can be seen in previous large scale outdoor pieces, including "The Greatest Love" (1992) on Ramirez Pharmacy at Cesar Chavez Avenue Soto St in Boyle Heights; "The Wall That Speaks, Sings, and Shouts" (2001) at Ruben F. Salazar Park in East Los Angeles; and the temporary mural " “Global Los Angeles, A & B" (2006, 2008) on Metro's construction walls at First and Boyle and Mariachi Plaza.

Joining Botello as a selected Los Angeles based artist is Oscar Magallanes and Omar Ramirez.

Last Spring, the mariachi mural––that for many was an iconic image on Broadway–-took a quick vacation before being replaced by the same image. It briefly exposed a 1980's era "READ California" campaign.

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