Las Vegas artist and podcaster Justin Favela talks about:

As a kid, watching the Dunes (where his relatives were employed), being imploded to make way for the Bellagio; working as a roller-coaster operator at New York, New York; how he’s the first in his extended family to go into art and move away from the hospitality industry, which so many of his family members are in, and how sometimes he feels he has to lie by saying he’s “an art teacher,” just so they think he has a ‘legitimate’ job with a regular paycheck, and he goes in-depth about family dynamics when your family doesn’t quite get what you’re doing (as an artist) and why; his Family Fiesta picnic blowout he hosted/’performed’ in front of the Crystal Bridges Museum in Arkansas (founded by Walmart heir Alice Walton); what it’s like being an artist in Vegas, where it’s a small community, but the art-going public is thirsty for it, and how he finds himself having to be careful not to be in every local art show because people will get sick of him; doing his Family Fiesta within the canyons of Michael Heizer’s legendary Double Negative in the desert; his own podcast, Latinos Who Lunch, which takes food as its entry point/icebreaker that gets things rolling into a wide range of topics, including art; his project Taco Takeover, which was inspired by Taco Bell’s ‘Doritos Locos’ taco and the globalization of Mexican food, and led him to start documenting every taco he ate as a way of ‘taking the taco back;’ the art of the taco, and what makes great tacos great; the labor intensity of his works, esp. his large-scale installations (including on the whole façade of a motel), and how he’s a nice boss to his helpers; and how he’s getting (and gotten) to know himself through his identity because he’s always getting asked about it, making him aware that when it comes to his identity and culture, as well as politics, that he really needs to know his shit.