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Art

Quirozagua Spa & Salon ~ Huntington Park

12:55 PM PST on December 4, 2006

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Quirozagua Spa & Salon ~ 2570 E. Gage Avenue ~ (323)583-9990 ~ Huntington Park, CA 90255

Let me start off by saying that I have never step foot in Quirozagua Spa & Salon, but that I have certainly admired it from afar. More specifically, I have admired the signage from across the street. Quirozagua is named for its proprietor, Francisco Quiroz, who was a weatherman for Los Angeles Univision affiliate KMEX Canal 34 and is now doing the weather for the independent Spanish-language station KRCA Canal 62 out of Riverside.

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The sign is definately an attention getter. Quiroz is dressed in a tuxedo and seems very psyched to be blow-drying this woman’s hair. This mysterious woman seems to be wearing two different kinds of bras, while her hair is exuding some kind of blue flame and is flowing towards the hairdryer instead of away from it. This sign and the mural next to it are the work of Hector Ponce, whose work has been seen in LA Taco before and who continues to be active in beautifying the Huntington Park area. The larger mural on the adjacent wall is also a complex artistic statement with an interesting and diverse mix of elements. I’ve taken the liberty of providing a few annotations...

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1. This if Francisco Quiroz again, doing his weatherman “thang.” Again, Francisco is really psyched.
2. This is a bird. It is a real live bird that was there when I took the picture. I don’t know what kind of bird it is.
3. This is a map of the western half of the continental United States. The California–Nevada border is clearly marked but not so much the border that distinguishes California from Mexico. Coincidence?
4. This is the logo from Mamma Mia!, the Broadway hit based on the songs of ABBA.
5. Now, these might be raindrops from the weather map above, but the long, whip-like tails are suggestive of spermazoa to me. Under this interpretation, it might be suggested that the state of California is jizzing on the head of the Broadway bride, who seems to be enjoying it almost as genuinely as most of the actresses in the adult movies my friends tell me about. From this point of view, the center of this mural suggests a subtle but still very emotionally compelling money shot.
6. A young girl and her innocence are protected from the falling, splashing moisture by her umbrella, her eyes modestly cast downwards. When this image is used on the label for Morton Salt, the girl is holding a canister of salt under her arm, appearing somewhat oblivious to the fact that it is spilling. While there is a practice of salting roads to improve traction in icy conditions, spilling salt is usually considered to be bad luck. The suits at corporate headquarters tell me that the Morton Girl is shown spilling salt in the rain to show that their salt does not get crusty but is free flowing even in moist weather conditions due to the addition of chalk or calcium silicate as an anti-caking agent. Hence, “when it rains, it pours™”. Notice, however, that in the Quirozagua version the girl has forgone her canister of salt for something that looks more like a Furby.
7. This appears to be a Hispanic bricklayer constructing a cinder block wall. I hope it is not a wall separating our two countries.
8. This appears to be another Hispanic guy, this time wearing a cowboy hat and playing the guitar. He looks a lot like the first guy. This could be the first guy kickin’ it after work. Or it could be the first guy’s brother—the lazy brother who is just screwing around while the hard-working brother is getting the wall built. Maybe this is a kind of Hispanic Goofus and Gallant: “Goofus plays nacrocorridos on his guitar and refuses to learn English or assimilate while putting a strain on social services; Gallant builds a border wall to keep out illegal immigrants and doesn’t even complain about working overtime or about his employer’s numerous OSHA violations!”
9. This is Cantinflas, born Mario Moreno Reyes. A prolific actor and comedian in the film industry in Mexico, he is often compared with Charlie Chaplin. He made 55 movies before his death in 1993 and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6438 Hollywood Boulevard. He was famous for a mustache that was only really present above each corner of his mouth, like two hairy apostrophes. He would have found all of this to be very funny.

The artist, Hector Ponce, is the process of negotiating with the owner of nearby buildings to complete the murals he has begun in the alley ajacent to Quirozagua's Salon. I am told that Quiroz and Ponce hold al fresco art exhibits in this alley about once a month. I'd suggest calling for dates if you are really interested.

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