Idea behind the Theme - So many of the world’s cultures are assimilated in Louisiana like nowhere else in the US and reflected uniquely in our food, music, stories and lifestyles. Think Irish Channel, Congo Square, Acadians, La Côte des Allemans, Hungarian Settlement, the Vietnamese community, Jazz, Creole, Cajun. Visiting Louisiana is like culturally traveling abroad.
Louisiana: America's Foreign Country
About the Artist
Joe Mustachia is a Louisiana local who was raised in the New Orleans area. Joe minored in art at the University of New Orleans in the late 1980s. After college, Joe found himself drifting away from art, running a business, and focusing on a new young family. Thirty years later, after the loss of their beloved family dog, Bosco, Joe sketched out a pencil drawing of their dear pet. His wife’s fond and enthusiastic reaction to the drawing rekindled Joe’s love of expressing himself through art. Not long after, someone asked Joe to paint a picture of a can of red beans. At the time, the request struck Joe as somewhat odd. The feedback on the piece was extremely positive and requests came in for more of the same.
By this time, Joe and his family were residing in the Baton Rouge area. Joe was presented with an opportunity to show his work at a local festival. In a desire to draw attention to his booth for the festival, Joe painted a much larger piece of his red bean composition. The painting attracted a lot of attention. People took photos of themselves next to the giant painting. With the attention generated, the painting sold! Commissions for even larger works started rolling in. Since that time, Joe has sold numerous red bean compositions, along with other styles and subject matters.
Joe has an inclination to use texture more influentially. He focuses predominantly on two styles of painting. One which utilizes a palette knife, and the other being a hand slung / thrown technique. The movement found in his knife-painted pieces takes on a life of its own drawing the viewer into the scene and the composition invokes a nostalgia of days of long ago. Joe’s slung paint method is a more controlled approach than that of past artists who achieved success with this technique. Joe built on this treasured style, by focusing on a more recognizable image. The combination of technique and focus brings us to some of his most beloved compositions filled with vibrant color and earthly texture: scenes of the Roman Candy Cart, streetcars on Canal Street, the French Quarter gas lanterns, and dry goods found within most Gulf South pantries! His hand-thrown style is an extravaganza of color and texture harnessed into a unique style, leaving the observer with a delightful and engaging visual experience.