â€œI was looking for my own identity. I wanted something more rough-edged, a place where I could throw bold colors onto the wall and didnâ€™t have to walk carefully.â€ Boris Fishman says.
…At Oaxaca â€œI was standing in the central plaza, listening to the bells from the cathedral,â€ Mr. Fishman recalled. â€œShops were open; teenagers were hanging around, flirting; families were strolling about. The idea of evenings devoted to leisure and conversation, brass bands playing spontaneously, women dancing on the cobblestone streets â€” I felt connected to it because it felt so European.â€
He was reminded of Minsk, the city in Belarus where he had spent his childhood. Six months and $15,000 later, he had produced a series of spaces that captured the look and especially the vitality of semitropical places in Mexico, albeit within the unlikely setting of a drab high-rise.
The showstopper, drawn with a felt-tipped marker on a living room wall, is a menu from a favorite restaurant in Xalapa, featuring such items as â€œenchiladas de la casa (4) MX $47â€ and â€œtostadas de pollo (3) MX $42.â€ To the right are black and white photographs of Guatemalan refugees in Mexico, surrounded by frames hand-painted on the wall and reminiscent of displays found in restaurants in Mexican university towns, where work by a local artist is invariably found on the wall next to the menu.
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