Whether it's through food, flavors or art, we are always looking for ways to connect with our neighbors. That's why, as we were opening our seventh Arizona location, we reached out to Jesse Perry, aka MrDowntownPhx, an Arizona native and lifelong artist. Jesse did his first mural four years ago, something on his Bucket List, and since then, has completed over 60 murals all over Phoenix! MAD Greens knew we had to get Jesse to help us jazz up the patio at Central & Camelback...boy did he ever. Check out the transformation!
We first approached Jesse after finding him on Instagram and loving his bright, bold colors. He loved our commitment to healthy eating and the local community. "A mural is like asking for an artist's blessing,. It shows the business is really in tune with the local vibe," Jesse told us. This is particularly important in Phoenix as the city's gentrification poses a threat to its artists and art districts. "Money is coming in...condos are going up, but opportunities for artists are going away and existing art is being painted over." MAD Greens was more than happy to lend a voice to the Phoenix art scene, with Jesse's help. Plus, we saw the he shared our love of vegetable puns so we knew it was meant to be!
Jesse began this project like most classic artists...with a vegetable study. He drew as many veggies as possible, making sure he mastered the curve of a tomato and the swirl of a carrot. We also showed him our first-ever mural in Austin for further inspiration. The initial sketches featured his traditional bright, cartoony style and a realistic Arizona skyline/sunset.
We loved the look and feel, but presented him with an unusual request for the second pass: use dots instead of straight color blending. Jesse was overjoyed to hear this! "No one else is doing pointallism murals right now. I've been thinking about making this my signature style and MAD Greens 100% cemented this for me. It's definitely something different that stands out from other artwork." And with that, Jesse got down to work!
As an artist, Jesse has always been drawn to big, bright colors and art that makes bold statements. Luckily the MAD Greens color scheme was right up his alley.
In Jesse's younger days, his artwork was much darker as worked through emotions and got in touch with himself. "When an artist creates a piece, he is essentially purging what's inside of him and literally putting it onto an item. So when the piece is finished, the emotions that went with it are finished too." These days, after working through the earlier angst, Jesse strives to express and inspire positivity with each mural.
Jesse knows the power that artwork can have and if he affects someone, even for a moment, he considers his art a success. That's why murals are his jam...they reach so many people at once and each person can take it in on their own time, through their own lens.
The precision and detail that Jesse used for our mural is truly a work of art in and of itself.
The finished mural! It looks even more amazing in person so if you have a chance, come visit us at Central & Camelback to check it out for yourself.