Listen. We get it. The Coconut Grove Arts Festival, though it has a long history (48 years), is not exactly Art Basel. It's more about the arepas and Budweisers than fine art. The real talent is walking down the street more than inside any art booth. But still, organizers might have let one to many birds out of the the coop with their choice of sponsor booths.
Just days before the festival kicks off, Cultist received a package, the contents of which saddened us, before it made us start giggling. Then we got sad again. When we opened it, we were floored. There were several very nice coupons for some Chicken on the Grill. And everybody loves Pollo Tropical. But the coupons were only part of the surprise. What really got us was news that South Florida's poultry king was going to be sponsoring an exhibit at the festival. An art exhibit. With art stuff, that apparently somebody over there in the hatchery cooked up -- including something called the "Pollo Lisa."
That's right, the "Pollo Lisa." Let that sink in. In case you don't get
it, let Pollo Tropical's press release explain: "Visitors can enjoy the
popular Pollo Tropical art collection featuring "Pollo Lisa," a tribute
to Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Thanks for clearing it up. The booth
will also feature "Night Pollos," a tribute to Edward Hopper's Nighthawks, and "Pollo Gothic," you guessed, it a tribute to Grant
Wood's American Gothic.
We're still trying to make sense of this. Can't quite figure if it's
pure genius or pure chicken crap. We're leaning toward the former. The
chicksters are aware of the silliness, so far as we can tell. Their
whole sponsorship is under the guise of good times and fun. It's what
they do, beside sell chicken. They have fun with that crazy bird mascot
and those snazzy commercials.
But organizers probably should have thought twice. Once the biggest show
in town, the Coconut Grove Art Festival has had a decade to learn
something from Art Basel. And what we get is chicken art booths. Not
that there was too much art credibility in the show, but this just opens
the festival up for more ridicule courtesy of Ms. Pollo Lisa.
It should be noted that the chicken art wasn't the most ridiculous thing
in Pollo Tropical's press kit. That honor goes to the 21 Days to a New
You Makeover contest where the winner gets 21 days of free Pollo
Tropical, a one-year gym membership, and personalize nutritional
coaching with Dr. Jo Lichten (who wrote Pollo Tropical 21 Days to a New
You meal plan). The information on healthy prizes came right before our
coupon for fried yucca (which we will be keeping, thank you very
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The Pollo Tropical booth will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Saturday through Monday at the Coconut Grove Art Festival in downtown Coconut Grove. For more information coconutgroveartsfest.com.