This rather splendid Mexican menu illustration is one of the first in my third series of Paco's Taco's menus. In 1980, they opened a third shop in Kenmore Square, in one of the busiest places in Boston. The management commissioned me to do another series of illustrated menu boards for their newest location. Kenmore Square is in a concentrated cultural area which features all sorts of music, art, performance, and shopping. Symphony Hall, Boston University, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts are all fairly close to the chaotic traffic of Kenmore Square, as well as the Temple of Baseball, Fenway Park. I was encouraged to use themes from the artistic and musical world for these Kenmore boards.
This was one of the first ones I did. It is derived from an early 20th century ballet design illustrating the famous Russian ballet, "The Firebird," as conceived by the great producer Serge Diaghilev with music by Igor Stravinsky. The style is that of the Russian illustrator Ivan Bilibin, who was influenced not only by Russian folk art but by Art Nouveau and Art Deco. In the illustration, the prince/seeker character dances with the scarlet-clad Firebird, while a royal peacock looks on. The typeface is inspired by old Russian lettering. Yes, there was a lot of Culture in Boston, and why not borrow it to sell tacos.
"Diaghilev Dinner Special" is markers on posterboard, 21" x 13", winter 1980.