Fat City Diner Mural
Mural Location: Fat City Diner, 3220 Edenborn Avenue
Mural Artist: Candy Chang
Taiwanese-American New Orleans-based artist Candy Chang challenges the conventional perception of public space and its role in our well-being as a community and as individuals. Renowned for interactive public installations that provoke civic engagement and emotional introspection, her work has examined issues from criminal justice and the future of vacant buildings to personal aspirations and anxieties. Her participatory public art project Before I Die has been recreated in over 70 countries, including Iraq, China, Haiti, Brazil, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and South Africa. Projects include a vacant high-rise pleading for love, a confessional sanctuary in a Las Vegas casino, a site-specific fable in an apartment complex, and a public wall for personal aspirations.
Chang’s work has been exhibited in the Venice Architecture Biennale; the New Museum, New York; Tate Modern, London; The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans; and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York. She is a recipient of the TED Senior Fellowship, the Tulane University Urban Innovation Fellowship, the Art Production Fund Artist Residency, and a Black Rock Arts Foundation grant. She was named one of the Top 100 Leaders in Public Interest Design by Impact Design Hub, a “Live Your Best Life” Local Hero by Oprah Magazine, and a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader.
Last Night She Dreamed of a Place Called Fat City is a celebration of the history and present of the Fat City neighborhood. The collaged imagery is paired with a short story written by local writer James A. Reeves to form a fable that heightens the magic of the neighborhood. The story memorializes Fat City’s history (Trini Lopez’s shout out on the Tonight Show, the sno-ball stand from which Fat City perhaps derived its name, former local businesses) and inspires viewers to dream of its future and reflect on their lives. The original collage has been stylized so it is made up of vertical lines and dots. The effect is like a curtain of beaded rain that accentuates the dream-like quality of the image and encourages perspective by offering unique experiences at different distances from the wall. The result will be a grand mythology in the public realm to help us see the neighborhood with new eyes and to help us make sense of the beauty and tragedy of life with the people around us.