Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013

Best Salsa Club

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
A Small Slice of San Anto’s Spooky Haunts

A Small Slice of San Anto’s Spooky Haunts

Arts & Culture: San Antonio is one of the oldest cities in the United States, and its history stretches long before the people behind the American or Texas Revolutions... By Mark Reagan 10/15/2014
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
A Look Back at SA\'s Homebrew History

A Look Back at SA's Homebrew History

The Beer Issue: Homebrewing is a foundational American virtue. Not just Sam Adams smiling back from the bottle that bears his name—virtually all the... By Lance Higdon 10/15/2014

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Arts & Culture


Meet the Artists Behind SA’s Most Iconic Restaurant Interiors

Photo: Courtesy, License: N/A


Duran's Día de los Muertos-inspired remix of Renoir’s 'Luncheon of the Boating Party' at Bistro Vatel

Photo: Rolando Ramirez Ramos, License: N/A

Rolando Ramirez Ramos

Tatum's Mellow Mushroom Man in Space mural at Mellow Mushroom

With increasing frequency, we find ourselves eating in the midst of artwork created by either LA transplant Robert Tatum or SA native Gilbert Duran—two distinct characters who don’t quite fit within the confines of the local gallery scene. While Tatum’s work—which incorporates logo design, outdoor signage and murals—can be seen at Sip, Il Sogno, Umai Mi, The Luxury, Augie’s Barbed Wire Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, Mellow Mushroom, Tuk Tuk Tap Room and beyond (not to mention nearly every local bar named after a big city), Duran’s paintings and giclée prints factor prominently into the interiors of Rosario’s and SoLuna but also hang at Bohanan’s, Bistro Vatel, Bite, Zinc, Taco Haven ... and the list goes on.

[Gallery: the Artwork of Gilbert Duran and Robert Tatum]

Unsurprisingly, both artists had their first San Antonio shows in (now bygone) restaurants. They also happen to be neighbors and have known each other since the early 1990s. Their styles, however, are vastly different: Tatum’s irreverent, street-smart aesthetic, comic use of animals and advertising chops make his pieces fairly easy to pick out. But Duran’s tendency to reinterpret and even localize works by a number of famous artists (including but not limited to Fernando Botero, Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol and Pierre-Auguste Renoir) can make his paintings trickier to identify.

We sat down with the California dude turned Southtown rebel and the self-described “artist non-grata,” asked them similar questions and got wildly diverse answers dealing with everything from deviled eggs and mural maintenance to margaritas and the Moulin Rouge.



How would you introduce yourself to Current readers that may have seen your work out and about in San Antonio?
I have been painting for a very long time here in the city. I did take a hiatus to El Paso for 10 years and returned back September 11, 2001, when I opened up my studio, where Studio 911, Rosario’s and Fisher Heck Architects are in the same building. And the Rosario’s restaurant is like a gallery to me, and also a kitchen to me. ... A lot of my art is in restaurants; a lot of restaurants request my work, but it takes an enormous expense in time, you know, to say yes to my friends that own restaurants. And they do buy my work and display [it] ... and I do have favorite places ... like Rosario’s, SoLuna, Bohanans, Boudro’s, Zinc ...

Can you describe what the theme or style is and how it’s different in each of those places?
I can paint in many different directions: abstract, modern art, wildlife, landscape ... and I sculpt, do mosaics—everything. ... I enjoy it and it’s a challenge. I do read the biography of all the artists that I’m trying to interpret. ... There’s Botero, Picasso, Gauguin or Porfirio Salinas; that’s what I do.

Recently in Arts & Culture
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus