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Guelaguetza Goes Guerilla

Oaxacan street art comes to L.A.

Bricia Lopez and her family have already perfected the arts of simmering creamy moles and hand-brewing smoky mezcal. Their Koreatown restaurant, Guelaguetza, is a Los Angeles institution, appealing to locals with their vibrant Oaxacan cuisine. But the Lopez family has always believed that their mission runs a little deeper than just pleasing the palate.

They’ve taken their cultural evangelism to the next level and delved into the art world by commissioning a mural at their Olympic Boulevard location. Street artists Rosario Martinez and Roberto Vega of the Mexican art group Colectivo LaPiztola (a combination of “lapiz,” or pencil, and “piztola,” pistol—a succinct commentary on their take-no-prisoners approach) made their L.A. debut yesterday at an unveiling that included photography by Susan Cross and a tasting by Mezcal Tosba.

LaPiztola’s distinctive style includes pairing stenciled figures with radiant bursts of color, like the stunning samples on display here. The new work should be an eye-catching addition to the area—and perhaps a candidate for Getty’s forthcoming Pacific Standard Time exhibition on Latin American artists.