Bobby Silver and business partner Faith Pierce maintain a fierce commitment to the art of the pie, not only contributing elevated flavors to the traditional dish but also offering inventive marketing tools and creative expression out of their shop in Olde Towne East.
So, as we celebrate all things pizza, we had to take a moment to check in with Silver, a CCAD-trained artist who has been creating brilliant chalk drawings for each of the shop’s monthly specialty pies. All give props to pop and international culture alike—from Chris Farley to Frida Kahlo.
“I love to draw and show work. All I care about is that I get to draw and make a living with my art. This has given me the opportunity to do so,” Silver said. “So making pizza art does not lessen the significance of making and showing art. If anything, it has given it more meaning to me as we help support an entire growing community here in Olde Towne East and Columbus, both culturally and as a business. Besides, what is more important than pizza?”
Well, perhaps nothing. But we did want to get the backstory on some of Silver’s favorite specialties:
The Latin Lover
“Not sure we have ever beaten this one. It’s seasonal, a summer pie. It has 12 ingredients, and the large comes with a full avocado on it. We also get special permission each year from Carlos of El Arepazo to use their famous cilantro sauce, which if you have ever tried is a little taste of heaven. I have drawn different drawings for it, but my favorite drawing for it was one of Frida Kahlo. We want a diverse cultural experience. It is Pizza Americana. So the way we view it is that any cuisine is free game, much like the concept of America being a giant melting pot of every flavor. All are welcome, theoretically. Seemingly endless combinations. We recognize that it is easy to make things funny or kitsch when looking for pizza inspiration. However, sometimes the inspiration comes from a much more genuine admiration of cultural icons. It is paying tribute to [a] true person, a true artist who had a huge cultural effect on the world. Like Frida. It is nice to help expose these drawings, ideas, and representation to people who either appreciate these icons, or for those who may not know about them to learn. We love the idea that it could serve also as a learning experience.”
The Big Trouble in Little China
“I don’t know, I got in way over my head. Too much detail and was not broad enough for the medium. I was just trying to impress a friend who put me up to it. Truth be told…it was unfinished the whole time it was up. [laughs] Who cares though, when you can eat crab rangoon pizza!”
“Marcus Meacham’s Wu-Pie was maybe the most apropos—36 ingredients to represent the 36 chambers of Wu-Tang. Need I say more? Complete with a dash of Hennessy and a sprinkle of hemp seeds. It was basically Korean BBQ Pizza. The bomb! I drew all of the main figures in the Wu-Tang Clan—even Killa Priest, who I met and got drunk with on tour at SXSW. Apparently the year before, the whole clan showed up there with Bill Murray, and they literally took over every place they walked into. Wish I had been there that year.” [laughs]