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Joe Bravo's Distinctive Fine Art Paintings on Tortillas


LOS ANGELES, CA.- Bravo: The Tortilla Paintings of Joe Bravo returns to Los Angeles with new works from Hong Kong and a full tortilla costume at KGB Studio & Gallery (Kolor Graphics Bureau), 1640 N. Spring St. On view October 27 through December 15, 2007, the exhibition features nearly 40 of artist Joe Bravo’s distinctive paintings created on his unique organic canvases of flour tortillas.

Bravo’s tortilla art features popular Latino icons such as revolutionary leader Che Guevara and Emiliano Zapata as well as comical, irreverent and traditional Chicano imagery such as his Chile con Carne, a bull adorned with chile peppers. This latest exhibition also includes Chinese-inspired imagery from his recent Hong Kong exhibition such as a Chinese opera mask plus a costume made entirely of flour tortillas and adorned with corn from Farmlab’s “Not a Cornfield” project. In honor of the Day of the Dead, two altars incorporating Bravo’s art will be on view: one, an homage to the missing and murdered women of Juárez, México; and the other, a tribute to María Félix, La Doña from the golden era of Mexican cinema.

Bravo has gained international acclaim for his distinctive artistry and innovative use of the tortilla as a foundation for traditional painting. “I use the tortilla as a canvas because it is an integral part of the Latino culture and my heritage,” says Bravo. “As the tortilla has given us life, I give it new life by using it as an art medium. Typically, I paint images representative of México and of Mexican-Americans, conveying their hopes, art, beliefs, traditions, and history.”

For Bravo, the preparation of the tortilla is as important as the actual painting itself. He toasts tortillas over an open flame, and then considers what to paint based on the resulting texture, shape, coloration, and burn marks. After adhering a burlap backing, Bravo paints on each specially prepared tortilla. After the acrylic paint dries, he applies varnish to protect and preserve the art for years to come.

Bravo started painting on plain flour tortillas. Recently, he began using flavored tortillas from Los Angeles-based Tumaro's Gourmet Tortillas, which serve as colorful, organic canvases.

Public hours for BRAVO: The Tortilla Paintings of Joe Bravo at KGB Studio & Gallery are Monday–Saturday, 10 AM to 4 PM. While admission is free, the suggested donation for admission is $2 per adult and $1 per student. Free onsite parking and accessible street parking is available.

The exhibition is sponsored by Tumaro’s Gourmet Tortillas and produced in partnership by KGB Studio & Gallery and CauseConnect. The opening reception on Saturday, October 27, 7 PM to 10 PM will feature tastings by Acumbaro Tequila and Tumaro’s Gourmet Tortillas. A model will wear Bravo’s tortilla costume and mingle among attendees.





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