With the re-opening of Casa Bonita right around the corner, I thought it fitting to do a little exposé on “It Lives Again”, the Polly Pocket-esque Skull that made it’s appearance at the 2023 Casa Bonita Art Show at NEXT Gallery.
It has since been sold and found it’s new home, but I realized that many were not able to attend the art show & never got to know it’s many secrets. And thanks to technology and the fantastic world wide web, I can give ya a close up view of the fun that is inside when the skull is cracked open!
Below are a few clips of the Art Show featured on a few news channels and articles!
Art show dedicated to Casa Bonita -Next 9News
Westword Article Featuring Casa Bonita Art Show 2023
Before going to deep into the mind of the Casa Bonita resembling skull, let’s take a look on the outside!
The skull is painted using pink acrylic paint of varying tones. Recently, the restaurant got a new paint job with a slightly brighter pink. I wanted to emulate that and mixed both the old Pepto Bismol pink with the new brighter version that you may now see whilst driving down Colfax.
Of course, I topped it off with a gold top, and the Casa Bonita gold lettering. (The original Casa Bonita lettering was blue, but I only had the gold paint pen, so we went with the updated version). The teeth are supposed to emulate a Gorilla’s teeth, perhaps the famous Chiquita that was the star of many theatrical acts. And of course symbolize all the chomping you would be doing soon upon entering the restaurant.
Next. I am sure you are wondering about the eye sockets.
The left eye has the mechanisms for a clock, which I used from an old thrifted decorative clock. Casa Bonita has a clock front and center on the building, and I wanted to tie that into the piece.
In the right eye you will see a crystal ball. Nodding to the fortune teller, Madam Estrella, that is inside the restaurant and for some reason was one of my favorite parts about Casa Bonita when I was young. And yes, this crystal ball has a fortune of it’s own…
Angle yourself just right and you’ll see there is a fortune that is to be told…. it spells out “It Lives Again” which tells the future of what is to come to Casa Bonita, it will live again! It also happens to be the title of the piece.
Finally, it is time to peer into the skull itself. Open the latch on the skull and we find a little miniature version of the inside of Casa Bonita. Filled with waterfalls, palm trees, puppet shows, and rock creatures. At the bottom you can see a light emitting blue much like the deep dive pool you see when you first walk in.
On the top of the skull you can see some of Black Barts cave, including the pirate guarding the treasure, some trapped monsters, stalactites and hanging bats. The mining dining room also makes an appearance complete with the sleeping minor and booth seating for 6.
And of course the bright green dragon, with white teeth and fangs inside of the cave. You must walk through it’s bright red mouth in order to escape the depths of the cave.
So there ya have it, It Lives Again in a blog post. Thanks for reading and learning about the many wonders inside the Casa Bonita themed skull. Now go get in line for the Casa Bonita opening! It will live again any day now.
—- This piece has found its new home and it not for sale, but you are welcome to reach out to me for a quote on commissions. But keep an eye out for the Next Casa Bonita art show as I hope to participate again! There are many other artists that participated in the show as well that have their art still for sale.