'Big Ears' at Starbucks

19 Dec 2019 | 03:18

The idea for the Big Ears series came to Eileen Millan, 69, when she was around 10. She was seeking to find a way to keep a homemade Halloween mask on her face, and she found that if she attached big ears to the sides of the face, with a rubber band to connect, the face stayed. Years later, at a painting class, Millan was asked to make a Halloween mask. “I’m gonna go back to my childhood,” she thought. That painting ended up on a friend’s wall, where an art dealer fell in love with it. That encounter gave her the exposure and experience she needed to begin doing her own publicity.

Her confidence and grit in her own work paid off. When she first noticed the art on the walls of a Starbucks, she was struck by its location - around Union Square. She informed the managers that they were in the midst of many local artists, and asked if they’d consider displaying the artists' work. From the twenty Big Ears paintings that went up in that location, to others circulating around six other stores, Eileen set her most recent sights on a Starbucks close to her residence. Since it had already been approved by Starbucks before, a few of her paintings went right up, and rest, to this day, on the walls of the Starbucks at 74 Seventh Ave.

“Certain colors took on a face of their own, a coloration. Most of them are personalities," said Millan. "They all have names. Each means something to me.”

To contact the artist: millan77@aol.com.