If a grocery store is a place you go for things you need, then the Omega Mart is where you go for things you could never even fathom.
Among the mysterious items that stock the store’s shelves are seven looming piñatas, constructed with cardboard and tissue paper, each representing one of the deadly sins.
Las Vegas artist Justin Favela designed the seven piñatas exclusively for the newest Meow Wolf experience located at Area15.
“They’re big and abstract,” says Favela. “And because this is for Meow Wolf, I wanted to create something whimsical.”
Favela connected with the Santa Fe-based art collective following “Sorry For The Mess,” an art show created by Favela and Ramiro Gomez for the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art last year.
The show featured several works by Favela, many made with cardboard and colored paper.
“Originally, piñatas were used for Catholic rituals during Lent,” says Favela. “The original design has a circle and seven cones, one for each sin. The blindfold represented faith in Christ. Then you hit the piñata after Lent.”
In adapting the piñatas to artful interpretations of each sin, Favela focused on the imagery of each idea.
Gluttony is portrayed as a giant orange ball of spaghetti. Lust takes the form of hot pink flowers. A papier-mache snake represents envy.
“Sloth was based on the profile of Mr. Snuffleupagus,” says Favela about the four-foot-tall purple paper sculpture. “His face was constructed with 21 teddy bear pinatas I made. Each eyelid is five feet long.”
Unlike other exhibitions that Favela has worked on, Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart has a cohesive, albeit unconventional, theme. When it opens next year, the attraction will provide guests with an experience inside a grocery store that is home to mysterious secrets and passages to other worlds.
“I love a theme. To me, the fun part was problem-solving and figuring out how does this fit in?” says Favela. “Meow Wolf really put trust in me. They said ‘We know what you do, we love what you do. How about you make piñatas for us?’”
Like many of the products inside Omegas Mart, Favela’s piñatas will be available for purchase when Omega Mart officially opens at Area15.