Eric Junker’s ”All I Want is More Beautiful” Cross Country Mural Painting Trip
We had a chance to catch up with artist (and Wanderlust Society brand designer) Eric Junker after his cross country mural painting road trip with the sole mission to make America more beautiful.
“The trip was EPIC!” — Eric Junker
Wanderlust Society: What was your favorite place you visited?
It wasn’t so much about the favorite places, but the people we met. Had a blast in Cottonwood, AZ with the brilliant and irascible Maynard James Keenan, drinking his exceptional Caduceus wine, eating fabulous pasta and painting on the walls of his restaurant, Merkin Osteria. We were incredibly fortunate to connect with Rocky and Virginia in Marfa. Through them, we learned so much about the area, the ecology, the culture, the politics, and we maybe drank too much rosé and mescal… in a good way. The Bacchnal crew in New Orleans, Joaquin, Coryn and Coy, were incredibly hospitable and went way out of there way to make sure that we were OK when Hurricane Nate was threatening, and once the hurricane passed went out of their way to make sure we were having a good time…
WS: Favorite meal?
Favorite meal was at The Capri in Marfa, Texas. Exceptional and original and delicious food prepared by eccentric and lovable Chef Rocky Barnette. He explores “pre-conquest” menus based on indigenous flora of the Southewest: mesquite, yucca, corn, prickly pear… It’s not often that you have a meal that makes you think, “damn, I never experienced THAT taste before.” We got to hang out with Rocky. We argued. We drank lots of mezcal. I left a big mural on their patio wall, which I hope they don’t regret like a bad tattoo on the morning after!
WS: Road trip tunes?
My friends from The Flashdance, DJ’s Michael Antonio and Matthew Rubino, provided some great mixes for us to listen to on the road. We also listened to a lot of reggae mixes and dubs. From Houston to New Orleans it was all about Creedence Clearwater Revival, Hank Williams, Boozoo Chavis and Clifton Chenier.
WS: Any Surprises?
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. What a great place. I guess the surprise is that it exists! The decision to go there was a last minute one, but we were glad me made that jog south, rather than pushing north through Albuquerque. It’s a scrappy, dusty little south-east New Mexico town with huge skies, natural hot springs, a solid brew pub, a food truck that makes a drop-dead delicious smoked turkey leg, and a bunch of really nice people hanging in out at the local Saturday car show.
WS: Anything you could have lived without?
It was all good. Nothing bad happened at all. Even when we got pulled over for speeding outside of Cottonwwod, Arizona, the Sherriff was very nice, and let us off with only a polite request that we drive a little bit more slowly.
WS: Sorry to hear the NOLA party had to be postponed. Those hurricanes are causing so much damage this year. We were hoping you had missed them.
That was just another part of the adventure!
Wanderlust Society is a place to bookmark and view your travel ideas on a map, then share with others. Planning a trip? Check us out at www.wanderlustsociety.co