“What, after all, is the majesty of the Hill Country compared to the majesty of the orange and white Whataburger logo?” asks Texas Monthly’s Dan Solomon. It’s a question that feels wrong to pose — How dare you put Texas’s natural charm on the same plane as the sprawl we’ve layered over it — but also feels wrong to ignore. “Texans often display their enthusiasm for homegrown chains without a hint of irony,” writes Solomon. So why not just embrace our freeway-side icons in good-old-fashioned oil-and-canvas style?
San Antonio artist Michael Esparza’s done just that with his work, which the internet recently discovered after one well-followed editor tweeted out a link to his Etsy shop. There, he offers prints of paintings like the ones above that range from, er . . . hyper-realist:
- Me and You Art [Etsy]
- This Etsy Store Is Just Paintings of Texas Fast Food Chains in Romantic Landscapes [Texas Monthly]
Images: Michael Esparza