Just like our food, our art is inspired by the streets. Each of our restaurants has been decorated by an different street artist (or 2), who we’ve chosen from amongst the best up and coming artist in the world and set to work on our walls. Read on to see what we’ve been up to recently.
They used their distinctive and unique technique using stencils to create textures to paint stunning murals on the restaurant walls including the “Mezcal man” and a market scene straight from Oaxaca City.
In the autumn rain, they also painted the front of the restaurant with birds that represent freedom, in this short video, you can find out more about what inspires Lapiztola.
On November the 7th, we are throwing a 12 hour party in London’s Tobacco Dock, celebrating the dead and the living, indulgence and debauchery, loud music, fine food and provocative debate, surrounded by beautiful art. You should come.
A celebration of Day of the Dead comes to life on a scale the UK has never seen before, with 2 main live music stages, plus an electronic Mextronica stage, all set in the vibrant setting of this most life affirming of festivities.
From melodic mashups of Mexico and the UK’s finest bands and DJs to a death café for discussing your own mortality over tea and cake, you’re going to want to get down here early to explore everything that’s going on.
WHAT YOU’LL FIND AT TOBACCO DOCK
Bands across the oceans The UK and Mexico’s finest rock, post-punk, cumbia and electro-indie bands coming together on our 2 main stages with The Horrors, Savages, Crystal Fighters, Zoe, Mexrrissey & Erick Rincon amongst many more.
Street food to die for Spend lunchtime grazing round our market street food stalls, offering favourites from the Wahaca and DF/Mexico kitchens and bars – Festivals don’t get much tastier.
Holy smoke Discover a hidden Mezcaloteca offering tastings and a chance to take home some of Oaxaca’s famous smoky elixir, that mysterious cousin to tequila, Mezcal.
Market style Our underground Mexican market will be offering artisanal crafts for your perusal, bringing a taste of San Juan market from Mexico City to East London
Masked crusaders Yep. There’s going to be Lucha Libre – Masked wrestling, Mexican style. Not just a chance to watch, but for the adventurous, a chance to take part too.
Wapping INK La Roma & Depftord’s finest ink artists tattooing LIVE to preserve this day forever and ever.
Top grub If you were lucky enough to grab one of 120 tickets to attend Enrique Olvera (Whose Mexico City restaurant Pujol, is currently sitting at no. 16th in The World’s Best Restaurants) & Thomasina Miers’ supper club at the festival, expect the finest contemporary Mexican experience. If you’ve missed out on a seat at the chefs table, fear not. Enrique will be cooking up some of his signature tacos from his own taco stall throughout the evening.
Let it SHRINE Day of the Dead is all about remembrance, and setting up a shrine (ofrenda) to your dearest departed with food, flowers, personal possessions and candles is common in Mexico, and at the festival, expect to find 2 stunning ofrendas by artist Betsabe Romero and the Mexican London community remembering those who have died fighting for free speech.
A feast for the eyes There’s going to be art too with the Saatchi Gallery’s exhibition “Dead: A celebration of mortality” showcasing work which comments on the inescapable subjects of death, decay and mortality; alongside live street art from of Mexican political muralists Lapiztola who will bring their own comment on death and life to the festival.
Provocative talks In between the music and margaritas, join English PEN to get a real insight into Mexico’s cultural and literary scene with speakers like Diego Luna, DBC Pierre and Thomasina Miers in conversation with Enrique Olvera.
Find your spiritual home at La Casa Loca From silly dancing to Elvis Corpsely to Musical Bingo and thumb wrestling to taco battles, this will be the room to let yourself go into the uknown.
Support free speech 10% from the sale of all food and drink at the festival, will be donated to Periodistas de a Pie, a charity helping Mexican journalists in danger fighting for freedom of speech. The more you eat, the more you’re helping this incredible cause.
At the heart of Wahaca’s Day of the Dead Festival is a lofty ambition, fuelled by an awareness of a perceived defect in much of UK society. It’s their belief that here, we live in an age that is repulsed by death, we fear the pain of remembrance and clad it in stiff ceremony and we don’t create enough opportunities to honour those who came before us.
We are becoming more and more obsessed with the future and detached from our past. Meanwhile in Latin American, and specifically, Mexican culture, death is celebrated as an occasion to remember and honour friends and family who have gone before us. Wahaca’s Day of the Dead festival is a chance to bring some of that vibrant celebration to life on the biggest scale the UK has ever seen. We’ll raise a glass to that.
Something colourful catching your eye as you walk past Wahaca Liverpool Street? Ricardo Cavolo, world renowned Spanish illustrators and muralists, took the restaurant walls as a blank canvas to create a permanent exhibition of his unique style.A graduate in Fine Arts from Salamanca University, he’s an artist with a unique imaginarium and a colourful iconography of tattooed souls, legends and fantastic nature unique to Spain.
Ricardo has exhibited in galleries such as Mad is Mad and Espacio Valverde in Madrid, Atomica Gallery (London) and Ó! Galeria (Porto), and has participated in art fairs like JustMadrid. But his turning point came when Cirque Du Soleil chose him to work on one of their artistic projects in Spain in 2010.
He has also worked for AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) and on record covers and sleeves for labels like Gran Derby Records and BOA Music. As an illustrator he has published with publishing houses such as SM, Periférica, Lunwerg, Límina (Italy) and Madriguera (Peru).
Amongst the books he has published, ‘Cocina Indie’ y ‘Cocina Pop’ together with the journalist Mario Suárez. He has his own graphic novel, ‘El desorganismo de Daniel Johnston’, and also his very own music encyclopedia of ‘100 artists I couldn’t live without’.
In 2012 he received the award for best cover from the magazine Yorokobu, and in 2013 and 2014 he was one of the artists invited to the Urban Trends Festival Festival of Madrid, MULAFEST. He has also worked on publicity campaigns for brands such as Nike, Converse, Dockers, Levi’s…, as well as working with Futbol Club Barcelona and has created murals for Urban Outfitters, Cirque du Soleil and Montreal Airport.
We have a signed copy of 101 Artists to listen before you die, to be in a chance of winning, simply reply to our instagram video of Ricardo’s work in progress with your name and we will pick a winner on 31st of August.
When we found the space for our Bristol restaurant at the top of Queen’s Road in Clifton, our imagination was immediately sparked by the size and depth of the interior and the chance to bring a huge mural to the heart of this Street Art loving city.
The artist that we chose for this project, Will Barras, was one of the original pioneers of Bristol’s urban art scene and one of the artists who was celebrated at the Crimes of Passion: Street Art exhibition held at the nearby Royal West of England Academy. His own loose style of drawing has become influential worldwide thanks to exposure in books such as Scrawl and later on the cover of Street Sketchbook. As a member of the “Scrawl Collective” his work takes him on worldwide tours creating murals seen by millions.
In this film, we asked street artist Will Barras about the mural he’s created in our Bristol restaurant and how the city inspired his work.
For more films on what we’re up to at Wahaca, head over and subscribe to our WahacaTV YouTube channel
Thanks to the guys at Upsides Media. Visit www.upsidesmedia.co.uk for more of their work.
= CHILLI CHILLI BANG BANG TICKETS ARE NOW SOLD OUT =
Together with top graffiti instructors from Paintsmiths, our guys turned a fairly regular looking wall into a chilli inspired backdrop for Tommi’s Diner. The diner will be open for just 2 days and it’ll be home to our very own Tommi Miers as she cooks up a 3 course menu, for those who fancy some VIP treatment, street food style, using recipes inspired by her new book Chilli Notes.
If you fancy heading along to Chilli Chilli Bang Bang on Friday 9th or Saturday 10th May, tickets are on sale now and entry gets you, not just a whole load of great times, but a free margarita and a free bottle of corona on the night, plus we’re throwing in a free Wahaca sauce and a Margarita in one of our restaurants if one night of fun isn’t enough for you. Probably the best £15 you’ll ever spend!
As well as Tommi’s Diner, the event’s going to be featuring street food from Wahaca and a new experiment we’re trying out called DF Mexico, alongside some of our favourite vendors from the UK street food scene. Expect to see Pizza Pilgrims, Andina, Bar Shu, B.O.B.’s Lobster and many more chilli inspired stalls. Drinks are courtesy of the fresh shakers at Rotary Bar and there’s going to be our very own Wahaca Mezcaleria for anyone after something a little more smoky. For a list of the incredible chefs that will be cooking on The Crate Stage, head here.
It’s gonna be one hell of a hot party, so get your tickets quick!
It’s not every day that you get to stack up 8 recycled shipping containers on London’s Southbank and put a restaurant inside them, so we thought we’d make a short film about how we did it and the artists that decorated the space for us. We hope you like it.
Directed, filmed, and edited by Michael Radford www.michaelradford.co.uk
Additional photography by Oliver Radford. Special thanks to Tristan Manco.
With our new restaurant on Wardour Street in Soho fast approaching completion, one of the last tasks is to get someone to splash a bit of paint on the walls. You know, make it look nice.
In fact, local residents and inquisative passers by may have noticed that there’s been quite a bit of that going on, and we’ll give you the full low down on all of the artists that worked on the interior soon. But today, it was the turn of Remi Morgan or Remi/Rough (to those in the know) and we thought he deserved special mention due to his recent involvement in the often whispered about, but until yesterday never reported, Underbelly Project.
Thanks to Vandalog for the images via flickr and creative commons.
Remi was one of 100 of the worlds top street artists that was invited to take part in a one off art project, deep under the heart of New York City in a dissused and now totally un-accessible subway station. The space was transformed into a exhibition to which only one reporter and a handful of photographers were invited, and which was only on show for one night. Pretty Cool.
When we asked him about it in a break from graffiting our bar, Remi mostly recalled the fear of being eaten by mutant sized rats, and the pitch black that perpetuated the space. With this in mind, we’ve left the lights on for him and you’ll be pleased to hear he’s doing a cracking job.
Last summer we ran a competition to find a street artist to graffiti our restaurant. After being blown away by the entries we got, Claroscuro emerged as the winners and have done an amazing job. To see how it all unfolded from a selection of the brilliant entries through to final artwork watch the video below.
Thanks to everyone who entered our competition and to everyone who voted as well. We were overwhelmed by both the quantity and fabulous quality of the entries and are looking forward to working with the street art community on other projects in the future.
We’ve been looking forward to Claroscuro transforming our space in Canary Wharf into a modern masterpiece ever since they were voted onto the shortlist of our Street Art Competition back in August.
Whilst the rest of Canary Wharf was away they spent the weekend spraying the living daylights out our new restaurant. Here’s a few pictures to give you a sneak preview of what to expect…
We are very excited to announce that the winner of our Street Art competition is the artist duo Claroscuro.
We have had incredible entries from some amazing artists and it has been a tough decision. Thank you all for entering but also for all those out there who voted.
Watch this space as Claroscuro starts putting together some fantastic ideas for the space – we hope to follow the whole commission here on the blog! We hope to see you all down in Canary Wharf once we open at the beginning of November.