Born in Turin in 1984, Pixel Pancho was introduced to color and form by his grandfather, who painted occasionally. With time, his passion for art and design led him to the Albertina Academy of Fine Arts followed by the Academy of Fine Arts in Valencia, Spain, where he obtained his degree. It was in Spain that he became familiar with the graffiti and street art scenes and began working on outdoor surfaces with spray cans and markers. Traveling between Turin and Valencia, Pixel Pancho took every opportunity to make his mark, using different media such as tiles, wall painting and sticker/poster art, eventually expanding across Europe.
Pixel Pancho’s work is drawn from several diverse influences. Traces of Joaquin Sorolla, Salvador Dali and the political painter group “El Equipo Cronica” to the more modern Ron English and Takashi Murakami can be seen in his works. Traveling extensively for graffiti jams and gallery exhibitions has allowed his style to evolve from a simple robot character to the more complex compositions in his work today. The narrative in Pixel Pancho’s art is driven by a forgotten world that sits under a blanket of dust. In it, broken and dented robots are found decaying into the ground, their iron and rusted copper bodies falling and laying as if discarded into oblivion. Although the scale of his work ranges, the surreal realm is a constant thread, piercing through contemporary and historical references that add a sense of relevance within our place and time. The strength of physical and gestural references that humanize these robots results in the artist’s unmistakable mark. Found on the walls of abandoned buildings in cities throughout Europe, the U.S. and Mexico, Pixel Pancho’s design is an interconnected structure of stories. The murals, the paintings, the sculptures in the end are only a small part of something greater, another story within the ever-growing realm.
Chicago is a city that loves its parades. St. Patrick’s Day to Thanksgiving, presidential inaugurations to baseball championships, and Helenic Heritage to Pride — there are plenty of opportunities to hit the streets and fly your freak flag. For the 2017 Lollapalooza poster, Pixel Pancho played on that tradition and imagined Lollapalooza as an old-timey street fair complete with marching band. His version gets a surrealist spin with the musicians as robots, one of his signature motifs, powered not by gears but by the greenery of Grant Park. While the execution is vintage in style, they march forward to today, when Lollapalooza will once again fill Chicago’s streets with music.
Read more about Pixel Pancho in our interview about his background and inspiration for the 2017 Official Lollapalooza poster.
You have an inspiring story. Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started on the path of becoming a world-renowned artist.
When I was a child I used to creates things, spending time in my dad’s garage where I start[ed] assembling pieces, fixing bikes. [On] the other side there was my grandpa, a talented amateur painter, who [taught] me the way to express myself trough painting. Then followed the years of the graffiti, the studies and [graduating with] Fine Arts in Spain, [it was] the first big wall… I’ve always believed in what I’ve done, while I was doing it.
We are curious to know what inspires the themes in your work and how the use of earth tones helps convey the story you are telling.
I paint in the way I see the life surround me. Plants, nature, time get me inspired. Robots are a metaphor of life, as the skin [gets] old, the iron gets rusted. The warm tones come from there, from the rust, from the ground, the soil, the leaves, flowers and fruits. Things to which we belong, things we should be grateful [for] instead of] try[ing] to destroy them.
What was the inspiration behind your design for the 2017 Lollapalooza commemorative poster?
I’ve imagined a band who fled from a carillon, one of those [from a] old dusty music-box, feeling free to play the music that they love, with no rules, breaking down the barriers of everyday routine. That is [the] way music [is] supposed to be [for me]. A way to make you feel free, out of market rules.
As an artist, does contributing one of your works to become a part of Lollapalooza’s history have significance for you?
Yes, sure. Lollapalooza in [it’s] history has [been] promoting a lot of music since the ’90s that [has also] accompanied me through this time.
Does music regularly have an influence on your art?
Actually, there [are] no rule[s]. Sometimes I love to hear it loud [while] singing, sometimes I prefer the silence. But, yes, the truth is that some songs have been the soundtrack and the inspiration for some of my works.
Where did the name Pixel Pancho originate from?
[At first,]there was Pixel, it was me. And [also] there was Pancho, a guy from South America who started this project with me. Then one day, our roads moved on different paths, however, I decided to push forward the “cart” of pixels ahead.
Your murals are spectacular masterpieces found all over the world. Are there any special locations around the world that are meaningful to you where hope to paint a mural in the future?
Antartica, sounds weird but this is it.
Do you have any advice for a young artist just discovering their talents?
Never stop studying, keep informed, let yourself be inspired without being too influenced.
We heard you will be attending this year’s festival in Chicago. We look forward to having you there! What are you most looking forward to? Is this your first time at the festival?
Yes, it will be my first time at Lollapalooza. I’m curious as I always [am]. Nothing in particular, [and] everything. “Nothing shocking” [and] everything surprising.
These three new releases from Time Inc. Books are must-haves for any cookbook collection and are guaranteed to get you fired up to grill over the holiday weekend.
Texas BBQ by the Editors of Southern Living (April 11, 2017, $19.99)
From the Editors of Southern Living, this ode to Lone Star flavor highlights diverse barbecue styles from east to west and panhandle to coast. You’ll learn how the pulled pork of East Texas is different from the spice-rubbed beef of South Texas and how the beer-poached grilled sausage of Central Texas varies from the garlicky grilled sausage of Southeast Texas.
Recipe Excerpt: Spicy Grilled Wings
Serve these satisfyingly spicy wings paired with the creamy Blue Cheese Sauce and a selection of locally brewed IPAs.
Hands-on 1 hour Total 1 hour, 10 minutes, including sauce Serves 12
2 teaspoons ground chipotle chile pepper
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons table salt
41⁄2 to 5 pounds chicken wings
1 tablespoon olive oil
11⁄2 ounces (3 tablespoons) butter
1⁄2 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons hot sauce
Blue Cheese Sauce
1. Light 1 side of grill, heating to 350° to 400°F (medium-high). Combine the first 2 ingredients and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cut off the chicken wing tips, and discard; cut wings in half at joint. Toss the wings with oil. Sprinkle the chicken with pepper mixture, and toss. Arrange the wings over the unlit side of grill. Grill, covered with grill lid, 18 to 20 minutes on each side or until done.
2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high; add the onion and garlic, and sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Reduce heat to medium. Add the vinegar, next 5 ingredients, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes or until bubbly.
3. Transfer the wings to a clean bowl; add half of the butter mixture, reserving remaining mixture. Toss the wings gently to coat. Place the wings on the lit side of grill. Grill, covered with grill lid, 10 minutes or until browned, turning occasionally. Toss the wings with reserved butter mixture. Serve with the Blue Cheese Sauce.
Blue Cheese Sauce
Hands-on 10 minutes Total 10 minutes Makes about 2 cups
1 (8-ounce) container sour cream
1⁄3 cup buttermilk
1 (4-ounce) wedge blue cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon coarse-grained mustard
1⁄2 teaspoon table salt
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
Stir together all the ingredients until well blended. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
The South’s Best Butts by Matt Moore (April 25, 2017, $26.95)
Using the almighty pork butt – long considered to be one of the South’s most revered cuts – as his cornerstone, Matt leaves no pits, ovens, grills, or smokers unturned, as he interviews the famous and not-so-famous pit masters of America’s Southern barbecue region for the techniques and recipes that have made their barbecue some of the most sought after from Texas to Tennessee.
Recipe Excerpt: B-Daddy’s Pork Tacos and Chipotle Slaw
You can’t visit Texas without having a taco, or three, as they are served at B-Daddy’s. The deliciously tender and slightly sweet pulled pork is heaped in a warmed tortilla with creamy chipotle slaw.
Serves 1 • Hands-on: 10 minutes • Total: 10 minutes
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
2 (6-inch) corn tortillas
6 ounces pulled pork, warmed
1⁄2 cup B-Daddy’s Chipotle Slaw
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce (such as Head Country Barbecue Sauce)
1. Melt the butter in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high until it foams. Add the tortillas, and cook until bottoms are lightly charred, about 30 seconds. Turn and top evenly with the pork; cook 30 seconds.
2. Remove the tortillas, and slightly fold. Top each with about 1⁄4 cup of the slaw and 1 tablespoon of the barbecue sauce, and serve immediately.
B-Daddy’s Chipotle Slaw
B.R. and his son Kyle have perfected this creamy, spicy slaw to serve not only as a topping for a sandwich or taco, but also as a formidable side. If you can’t find chipotle salsa, simply blend up canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce until smooth. If you have time, it’s best to put this together a few hours before serving to really let the flavors meld.
Serves 8 • Hands-on: 15 minutes • Total: 15 minutes
1⁄2 head red cabbage, cored and finely shredded
1⁄2 head green cabbage, cored and finely shredded
1⁄2 red onion, thinly sliced
1⁄2 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1⁄2 bunch scallions, finely chopped
1 cup matchstick carrots
3⁄4 cup mayonnaise
1⁄2 cup chipotle salsa
2 tablespoons honey
11⁄2 tablespoons Sriracha chili sauce
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 lime, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Using tongs or clean hands, thoroughly toss mixture until combined. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
Coleman: The Outdoor Adventure Cookbook (April 11, 2017, $22.99)
Leave the canned beans and simple sandwiches at home. The Outdoor Adventure Cookbook will take your next campfire meal from ordinary to extraordinary. With this book’s expert advice combined with a couple of key outdoor pots and appliances as well as some careful prep and packing, you can wow your friends and family with your outdoor chef ingenuity.
Bourbon-Honey Baby Back Ribs
Hands-on: 20 minutes | Total: 1 hour, 50 minutes | Serves 6
Take a lesson from your local barbecue joint and hand out hand wipes at the end of the meal. A cold water tap isn’t going to cut it with these finger-lickin’ ribs.
1 cup bourbon
1⁄2 cup honey
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 (3-pound) slabs pork baby back ribs
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1⁄4 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1. Heat a camping stove or grill to high (about 400° to 450°F).
2. Place the bourbon in a saucepan on the camping stove or grilling grate. Bring to a boil, and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1⁄2 cup, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the honey, vinegar, pepper, and onion powder, and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly syrupy, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
3. Reduce the heat to medium-low (about 300° to 325°F). Rub the ribs with the salt and 1⁄4 cup of the oil. Wrap each slab separately in heavy-duty aluminum foil, wrapping tightly to form a packet. Place on grilling grate, and cook until the ribs are tender and done, about 11⁄2 hours, turning the packets occasionally. Carefully remove from the grilling grate. Brush the grilling grate with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, and increase the heat to medium-high (about 375° to 400°F). Remove the ribs from the foil, and arrange on the grilling grate. Cook, basting often with the bourbon sauce, until a crust forms on the outside of the ribs, about 2 minutes. Remove the ribs, and brush with the bourbon sauce. Cut the ribs between the bones, and serve with the remaining bourbon sauce.
Ronni Hawk can be seen on the hit Disney Channel series “Stuck in the Middle.” Opposite a talented cast, Ronni plays the pretty, yet self-absorbed Rachel; the eldest of the Diaz’s seven children. “Stuck in the Waterpark – The Movie” will share the Diaz family adventures as they embark on a family vacation that doesn’t exactly go according to plan! The movie will also be available on Disney Channel’s multiple on-demand platforms including the app and Disney Channel vod.
In light of her newfound success, Ronni, who has considered herself an environmentalist since a very young age, is eager to use her position in the public eye to give back to those in need. Influenced by her father’s philanthropic work providing dental services and basic needs to communities in third world countries, Ronni has recently partnered with Thirst Project to raise funds and awareness surrounding the worldwide water crisis. With the launch of her campaign, Ronni will call on her fans to join her in raising money to fund projects building wells in communities where water is scarce.
Following in the footsteps of her mother, Ronni fell in love with performing while studying ballet as a young child. Ronni danced six hours a day, dividing her time between the Bak School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida, and the Boca Ballet Theatre. It was here that she discovered her interest and abilities in acting in an effort to expand her range of performance. During a weekend acting workshop for aspiring actors, Hawk connected with two acting coaches from LA who encouraged her to pursue her newfound passion and suggested she try Hollywood.
At the age of 13, Ronni seized an opportunity and flew to Los Angeles to meet with agents and managers. The first agent she interviewed with signed her on the spot in all categories, TV/Film, Commercial, Print and Voiceover. With the support of her friends and family, Ronni flew between the two coasts for auditions and training. At 15, she booked the role of “Rachel” on “Stuck in the Middle” and stayed in Los Angeles and began shooting the Disney sitcom.
Ronni’s experiences as a young dancer taught her the importance of self-control and prepared her for performing in front of large audiences. It was Ronni’s spirit and determination that prevented the rigors of the industry from having a negative impact on her self-confidence. Hawk equates much of her drive and focus as an actress to the intensity and strictness necessary to perfect the craft of dance. Ronni is also quick to thank great coaches, tutors and her family for all of their help, support and encouragement. For her current role, Ronni references TV favorites including “Vampire Diaries,” “The Originals” and “Peaky Blinders,” but looks forward to growing into dramatic roles as her career matures. She looks to the careers of film icons such as Leonardo Dicaprio, Matt Damon, Angelina Jolie and Robin Williams and classic works like “The Dead Poets Society” for inspiration.
*Special thanks: @advantage_pr
**Images of Hawk from spread will be available in our upcoming mid/late May print issue.