Police Arrest in Miami: BSA x UN BERLIN ART BASEL 2016: Dispatch 2


The police here in Miami have taken over the Goldman family offices in the Wynwood district.

Correction: Those would be the artists named The London Police and they are painting a new wall inside the just-opened offices of Goldman Properties – which is a different situation entirely.


The London Police at work on their mural at the new Goldman offices in Wynwood. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

However there was at least one arrest.


Hoisted overhead and hauled down to the station, Martha Cooper still manages to throw a gang sign as she is carted away by The London Police. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

The real estate company has a new compound in Wynwood after years of supporting the famed Wynwood Walls compound where perhaps 100 or so international Street Art and graffiti names have brought their skillz since its inception as a living, breathing art project by family visionary Tony Goldman in the late 2000s.


David Choe. Detail. Portrait of Martha Cooper with her cat Mélia. The figure on the left that appears as half human/half whale is a reference to David’s graffiti days when whales were his signature. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

In a shaded, gardened area of Wynwood we found Ken Hiratsuka pounding away with hammer and chisel Monday on the large boulders that have distinguished this part of the compound for years. It may have been only for a minute, but we’re pretty sure we saw these boulders covered with paint by Anthony Lister at one point, and perhaps one of these was washed in color at the foreground of a Ron English wall not long after. Definitely they’ve been a foundation for the crocheted pink camouflage skin created for them by OLEK only a couple of years ago during one of Jeffrey Dietch’s curations.


Ken Hiratsuka. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

A close friend of Tony, who passed away in 2012, Mr. Hiratsuka has chiseled his continuous line-work into the sidewalks of Manhattan many times over the years – especially the ones made of slate and granite. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll find his distinctive carvings where you walk in Soho right now, making him a true New York Street Artist.


Ken Hiratsuka. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Since first bringing his hand-pounded mark-making into the nearly lawless lower Manhattan after arriving from Tokyo in 1982, Hiratsuka may have done as many as 50 large pieces in the pedestrian paths of New York. He didn’t stop there but created a full career of it; with sculpted environments and chiseled streets in 21 countries. In this particular context, these new pieces may call to mind the paintings of Haring (and LA2) and Basquiat. All considered, it is remarkable to find him here for Wynwood’s wall celebrations this year – kicking off with the huge ‘artists dinner’ tonight.


Faith 47. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Speaking of artists, we caught a few on the street, somewhat feverish in this winter warmth, protected often by clouds. Trolling around this outdoor beehive with photographer Martha Cooper in the afternoon, we found that many murals have just been finished – like Pixel Pancho’s gilded and caged paradise, Faith 47s heroic poetry and Okuda’s blended portrait. Earlier in the day while touring the nearby new Hard Rock Stadium we found new pieces in progress, like those by Spanish duo Pichi and Avo and Australia’s Fintan Magee.


Pichi & Avo at work on their mural at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


David Choe. Detail. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


David Choe. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Okuda. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Faith 47. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Pixel Pancho. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Beau Stanton. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Findac. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


Fintan Magee at work on one of his two murals at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. Wynwood Walls 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo)


This article is the result of a collaborative partnership with BSA and Urban Nation (UN).