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When Andres Delgado’s solo art show, Analog, opens tomorrow at the Skylight building in the Santa Fe Arts District, the painter’s abstract canvases won’t be the only thing viewers can feast on—there will also be food. Delgado’s single-color-themed paintings, which are inspired by the traditional hues of the chakras, will be paired with small bites prepared by chef Edwin Sandoval of Xatrucho, giving gallery-goers a multi-sensory experience.
“I have a passion for culinary and cooking, and I always love going to Michelin–star restaurants,” Delgado says. “I just [was inspired to] bridge the gap between culinary and art.”
On Thursday night, Delgado and Sandoval presented a seven-course dinner to a private party of 40 guests. Each dish—such as a Jamaica-tinged octopus with smoked watermelon and chochoyotes con maiz—was paired with one of Delgado’s paintings. While not all courses from the private dinner will be available for the public on Friday, Denverites can still get a taste of the experience by purchasing a red-, yellow-, or green-hued pastelito (a Honduran-style dumpling) with housemade sauce and pickled cabbage, for $6 each.
“[By trying the samples], they can put two and two together that this artwork was inspired and painted initially with this thought process in mind—to pair food alongside the art,” Delgado says.
The idea for an “art-meets-culinary-experience” has been years in the making. Delgado, 30, fell in love with art when he was in his late teens after watching a friend spray paint graffiti in his home state of Florida. “I was like, Damn, that’s what I want to do,” he says. “I didn’t know I could be an adult and [make art].”
So he learned how to use spray paint and honed his penmanship and line work—which was already pretty good, he says. In 2016, he moved to the United Kingdom, and then later Germany to pursue an amateur soccer career, all the while painting in the streets and at home. “Eventually, I got arrested for doodling on this wall with a spray can,” he says, and was forced to leave Germany, opting to return to the States and settle in Colorado.
During his time abroad, he also fell in love with cooking. The son of a Mexican mother and Venezuelan father, Delgado had grown up on vibrant Latin cuisine, which was harder to find in the U.K. than in the U.S. “I always wished I knew [their] recipes from the back of my head,” he says. “And when I started living on my own in Europe, I was like, If I’m gonna have to cook for myself, I might as well make good food and enjoy it.”
It was also during this European stint that Delgado had his first Michelin–star experience at the Man Behind the Curtain, a restaurant that blurs the line between art and food with its avante-garde presentation of dishes. He was inspired by everything from the abstract artwork on the walls to the presentation and flavors in the 15-course dinner.
“From appetizers all the way to dessert, the bites were so small—like teeny-tiny—but the attention to detail and the art that was put in behind this whole experience [was amazing],” he says. “Ever since then, I’ve been hella inspired by the world of culinary.”
While Delgado has been making murals in Denver since 2019 alongside artists like Pat Milbery, Analog marks his first solo show, which he is presenting under his artist pseudonym, VYPR (which stands for Vibing Young People Reacting). And this is just the beginning, he says. His vision: to host culinary-inspired art experiences in the Santa Fe Arts District on a quarterly basis.
“There are infinite possibilities,” he says. “I think ‘color’ is a really interesting word. I paint with color. We eat color. We see color. [When we’re] eating something that’s yellow, we describe it with a word. So for me to kind of bridge that gap—to put two and two together—I’m just exploring. And I’m learning more about myself in this process.”
If you go: The public exhibition takes place October 7 at the Skylight building (833 Santa Fe Drive), starting at 5 p.m. Expect large-scale abstract paintings, each themed around a single color, plus one grayscale and one rainbow-hued canvas. Food from Xatrucho Concepts will be available for purchase.