Eloy Torrez' Public Art Portrait Mural Tribute to the Film Legacy of Anthony Quinn
Balancing the requirement of including historic Victor Clothing Co. signage, Torrez designed the mural portrait as a larger-than-life tribute evoking one of Quinn's most beloved screen moments - his "Zorba the Greek" dance. With assistance from City Councilman Jose Huizar, the Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles, muralist Art Mortimer and other artists, the mural's three-year restoration effort was completed in January 2017.
Anthony Quinn's film and stage career spanned more than six decades. Born Antonio Rodolfo Quinn Oaxaca in 1915 in Chihuahua, Mexico, he spent his childhood in the Boyle Heights and Echo Park neighborhoods of Los Angeles, California. Here French actor Gerard Depardieu joins Quinn in a Hollywood tradition.
Quinn was the first Mexican-American to be awarded an Academy Award (Viva Zapata!, 1952), and received a second Academy Award as painter Paul Gauguin (Lust For Life, 1956). Additional tributes and honors include a statue of Quinn in his "Zorba the Greek" role in Chihuahua, Mexico, and a Los Angeles County Public Library named in his honor (Anthony Quinn Library, Los Angeles, California, United States of America). (Source: Wikipedia: Anthony Quinn)
Eloy Torrez' moniker for Quinn as "The Pope of Broadway" represented the actor's deep cultural roots in Los Angeles. In striving to interpret the work, however, some critics incorrectly attribute to it Christian imagery, claiming that Quinn was intentionally portrayed as a Christ-like figure flanked by religious crosses.
At the mural's 2017 restoration and re-dedication, Torrez refuted such claims, stating that he "painted the actor dancing much like the way he did in his 1964 film "Zorba the Greek." Torrez further explained that the rectilinear windows shown under Quinn's arms and the floor under his feet were simply mirroring the features of the historic Bradbury Building directly across the street (Los Angeles Times, Jan. 24, 2017).
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Public Art in Public Places Project 2018