CAC’s ‘Off the Strip’ video and performance event meets Justin Favela’s ‘The Mini Market’

Photo: Mikayla Whitmore

The Contemporary Arts Center’s Off the Strip returns this weekend with video and performance artists exploring the Strip’s impact on contemporary art. Now in its third year, Off the Strip remains a refreshing mix of local, national and international artists, including locals Jenessa Kenway, Daniel Oshima and Kid Meets Cougar.

Of note this year is Justin Favela’s “The Mini Market,” an installation/performance inspired by Claes Oldenburg’s 1961 “The Store,” an installation on New York’s Lower East Side that drew art crowds to the neighborhood for a look at Oldenburg's crude and oversized renderings of hats, sandwiches, shirts, etc..

Favela’s “The Mini Market,” offers a twist by turning art objects into functional pieces—piñatas, Virgin Mary soaps, magnets, T-shirts and bottle openers—and takes place at his uncle’s market, El Porvenir, in a largely Hispanic North Las Vegas neighborhood.


Off the Strip
'Off the Strip' Opening party August 31, 6-9 p.m., Emergency Arts. Video program September 1, 4 p.m.-2 a.m., CAC. Performances September 2, 4-10 p.m., CAC. “The Mini Market” September 1 & 2, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., El Porvinir, 3100 E. Lake Mead Blvd. (grand opening September 1, 2 p.m.). August 29-October 7
Tuesday-Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday, 2 & 7:30 p.m.; $42-$165.
For more information: lasvegascac.org.

Part installation, part performance, “The Mini Market” will have Favela working the register and slightly curating the rest of the space by rearranging the eclectic variety of products. Other artists, such as Jen Kleven, have created works for the exhibit, or collaborated with Favela.

Above the aisles of sundries, food items and holiday products are his trademark piñatas, including “Creamy 7-Up Jello,” inverted cactus piñatas and “Paper Tiger,” a life-sized, adolescent white tiger collaborated on with Shannon Eakins.

The project is long in the making for Favela, who plans to keep “The Mini Market” up through December, adding new pieces along the way.

“As you can see, it doesn’t matter what you put in here,” he says, referring to the neighborhood store that carries just about everything. “There’s a hookah next to some Kotex next to a Valentine’s Day decoration.” Trying to differentiate the art from store items will be tough, he added.

It should be a worthy stop: Lest anyone’s forgotten, Favela is the artist who gave us the brilliant and memorable “CountyCenter,” a crude paper and glue-gun rehash of City Center’s art collection at the Clark County Government Center.

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