An iconic artwork just off South Congress now has a taco-focused spinoff down I-35. Luis Munoz, a TV and film producer/director with Bauhaus Media, created an art piece inspired by Austin’s “I love you so much” mural.
Munoz replicated the “I love you so much” in red paint on a gray wall, but then he painted a slash through “you” and added “TACOS” just above the word in black. He said he chose the colors because the exterior wall was gray and he wanted to pay homage to Austin’s wall with the red script.
“I wanted people to know this isn’t my creation. I never wanted to get other people’s art and make it like it was mine,” Munoz said. “The black was meant to look like someone tagged it.”
Less than 24 hours after posting the photo on his personal Facebook page, Munoz’s art has been shared more than 1,000 times. Munoz is standing in front of the wall, pointing to the mural and eating a taco in the photo.
The caption reads: “Austin has their wall, now we have ours! You’re welcome San Antonio! Lol We love our mixed-culture, we love to laugh, and we definitely love our tacos! (Right next to Taco Land on Grayson St.) P.S. For every picture taken and hash-tagged on Instagram over the next week, I’ll be donating $1 to a local kids charity. #iLovetacos #iLovetacosSomuch”
The idea to create the wall actually started in Austin about a year ago when Munoz was at a concert with a friend. They went to take a photos in front of the “I love you so much” wall, and Munoz thought he wanted to do it in San Antonio.
“I thought it was so beautiful, it was basically an homage,” he said. “I’m hoping that people in Austin get that it’s supposed to be in good humor. I’m giving it a little San Antonio twist.”
When determining the location, Munoz said he wanted the mural to be somewhere near where he lived downtown and that he wanted to be able to see the it going to and from work. His friend, Joe Calvey, the owner of San Antonio business Mother’s Window Tint, owned an office building. Calvey gave the thumbs-up to let Munoz paint the wall even though he was never told what was going on it.
Unlike Austin’s popular spot for photos which appears on the side of Jo’s Coffee, this art piece can be seen opposite from a restaurant called Viva Tacoland.
“It was kinda like the stars came together,” Munoz said.
The day before painting the wall, Munoz stopped into Viva Tacoland to have a beer and let the restaurant know he was doing an art project. Just as he did with Calvey, the specifics of the art were kept a secret. When he set to work the next day, a few of the workers looked on from across the street.
“Four of the bartenders were watching,” Munoz said. “When I started writing ‘TACOS,’ they just started clapping and cheering.”
Munoz said he does his own little art projects and poetry but has never been trained nor done graffiti on any wall before. While originally from Guatemala, he’s lived in San Antonio for more than 20 years. The response has been positive and overwhelming, he said.
“People were stopping and getting out of their cars and taking pictures,” Munoz said. “It was kinda supposed to be an inside joke with our friends and now I’m thinking maybe San Antonio really does like tacos.”
Hoping to raise money for charity, Munoz said he will donate $1 for every photo on Instagram taken in front of the wall that includes the hashtag #ilovetacossomuch between now and Friday. Calvey said he would also match the donation. While he hasn’t picked where the money will go, he hasn’t ruled out helping a non-profit organization, a family in need or starting a GoFundMe page to help someone out.
“I never figured it would start going viral,” Munoz said. “I just want to donate something to charity. People are looking for something to smile about, laugh about and to get someone to feel better for a second.”
Visit the mural at the northwest corner of the intersection of East Elmira Street and East Grayson Street in San Antonio, located near the historic Pearl Brewery district.