Kiki Carrillo’s Georgie Distills is the showpiece in our main dining room. This 36-foot painting details the history of distillation, as told through the ethereal essence of George Washington. The mural speaks to the spirit of the Farmers & Distillers concept, paying homage to some of the rich history of experimentation and acquired distillation knowledge that has culminated in the production of present-day spirits.
Carrillo approached the mural design as if it were a storybook, using color, symbolism, and hidden surprises to capture the viewer’s attention. The story begins on the far left, giving credit to the brilliance of the Egyptians, a people of color, who first discovered the process and magic of distilling. This acknowledgment represents that Washington’s success with distilling was only possible because of the intellect and skills of those who came before him. Carrillo shifts from the serious to the playful touch, with the mini George Washington figures tinkering throughout the piece. The dreamlike mural showcases familiar images, such as the iconic Athenaeum Portrait of Washington featured on our one dollar bill and his Mount Vernon estate, which is both beloved and loathed, depending on the perspective through which it was experienced historically and how it is seen today. The mural also provides enigmatic allusions to Washington’s spirit, such as the ominous eyes and the twinkling zodiac constellations. Botanicals used in the creation of various spirits, including those in our own distillery, anchor the base of the painting and at the horizon is Washington, D.C., as if viewed from the back porch of Mount Vernon.
This mural is the largest painting Carrillo has ever made. She painted the piece over the course of a year, working on one panel at a time in her Brooklyn studio. “Working with Farmers Restaurant Group has been an amazing, collaborative experience, albeit a gigantic one,” said Carrillo. “Seeing the mural installed in the restaurant is a dream come true. I love that there are so many details hidden within the piece. You can look at it over and over and keep discovering new secrets.”
Originally from Chevy Chase, MD, Carrillo is a fine artist and figurative painter now living and working in Brooklyn, NY. She began her study of oil painting at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and received her MFA from the New York Academy of Art. Kiki explores a subtle, humorous approach to representational forms and their stories.