Welcome to Wynwood! – A little piece of chaotic urban paradise and real estate development that has blossomed into a mini-holy city for fans of murals.
The convergence of three events during the 2010’s – cheap digital camera phones, social media, and mural festivals – have created this intense and colorful tourist neighborhood in Miami during the same time. The sheer number of happy extended families, groups of friends, and couples in love all were converging on the evolving neighborhood to see art in the streets. They also take pictures with it, pose in front of it, buy refrigerator magnets of it, and listen to tour guides speak about it.
During a recent day in the Wynwood Walls compound, which is surrounded on neighboring streets with a plethora of other murals, unsanctioned Street Art, and graffiti, we saw a number of newly painted murals that have replaced others there. We also saw that a few of the old favorites have been reinvigorated. Here is just a handful of images of the action.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week from Miami, and this time featuring Dasic Fernandez, Ernesto Maranje, Faile, Michael Vasquez, Buff Monster, Futura, Dan Kitchener, and Tats Cru.
Street Artists are participating in singular and group gallery shows, mural shows, special events, DJ parties, installations, dinners, openings, and the occasional garbage can fire with a plastic bag full of beers.
The crowds are going to start hitting these sidewalks and clogging the streets in the next day or two but until then, aaaaaahhh summer!
The gallerists and merchants have begun arriving in the South Beach area of Miami to uncrate the art they’ve shipped for the enormous Art Basel and the assorted satellite fairs of Art Basel Miami 2016. Across the Venetian Way heading inland and minutes to the north you see that artist have already been painting on walls in the Wynwood neighborhood.
First adorned by an entirely organic graffiti and Street Art scene in the late 90s and early 2000s, the low-income neighborhood with a light-manufacturing base has been transformed by real estate and economic development. Now after a decade of inviting local and international artistic talent to come and paint, the Wynwood area of Miami is a beacon of mural art that showcases this moment in its evolution.
Urban Nation (UN) returns this year as well, having worked with many of these artists who will be getting up throughout Wynwood, and BSA is on the streets here with you to see the action as it unfolds with exhibitions, shows, and possibly a party or two. While Wynwood events certainly popped up in the shadow of the annual Art Basel exhibition, art fair patrons and a modicum of celebrity have made the pilgrimage here in greater numbers every year for some urban decay realness, now sprinkled with glitter.
It is no surprise that many of these same artists are now featured in the art fairs as well, represented by new and established galleries and hired by lifestyle brands and moneyed corporations to carry their messages. It’s a heady mix of power, rebellion, politics, aesthetics, and aerosol; and sometimes it is a pure revelation to see the transformations, given the anti-establishment undercurrents that have run through graffiti and the more socio-political activist elements of Street Art throughout the last half-century.
On a sunny Sunday afternoon in the 70s, minutes away from the sand and the ocean, this grit is just getting stirred up again, and the aerosol fumes are already wafting through the blocks that are now looking less run-down, and decidedly under development.
West Coast based mural magician and philosopher Chor Boogie, with his protective air mask perched like mini-horns atop his head, smiles and welcomes a visitor happily because this time is just before the flood, before the sidewalks are thick with ipad-photographers and selfie-takers and fans of all sorts.
With moving vans and ladders and boxes of cans being unpacked, this neighborhood is clearly gearing up for a party again, and many artists have already laid down line work to play alongside pieces that have survived previous years. As the events unfold we’ll keep you apprised of the ones we trip into.
Happy Easter to the folks who are celebrating this day of Christ’s rise from the dead. The rest of ya’ll can just enjoy the Sunday roast dinner we made for you. Cousin Charlemagne has already eaten both the ears off his chocolate bunny and there are two eggs that have not been found during the hunt. Let’s look for them after we eat. Pass the scalloped potatoes please.
Here’s our our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring A Visual Bliss, Bang Bang Errol, Cash Cash RFC Crew, Chupa, CJ Fly, Dasic Fernandez, Geoffrey Carran, Jay Shells, Jesse A. Edwards, Joseph Acker, KLOPS, Kuma, LMNOPI, Lunge Box, Myth, Papoose, Rocko, Rowena Martinich, Sorick 21, Trifer, Wallplay, Willow, and Zimers.
Welcome to our first BSA Images of the Week for the new year. We thought we’d start out with a small unassuming businessman – perhaps he is from the World Bank. Wonder what he’s thinking, and planning. We just completed New York’s warmest December – averaging 51 degrees, or 13 degrees above normal. That’s why you’ll see no snow in these wintery images.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring ASVP, Classic, Dart, Dasic Fernandez, ENX, Foxx Face, Isaac Cordal, Jim Power, Jorit Agoch, KEO, Leticia Mandragora, Norm Kirby, One Eye Mickey, and She Wolf.
We start this weeks “Images of the Week” with a new piece on the street in Paris and we end the collection with many more inspired by the same events. A large number of artists took to the streets Friday night and yesterday to express grief and solidarity for 129 people killed Friday in Paris by terrorist attacks.
In addition to the outpouring of expressions and opinions on social, electronic and print media, it is good to see painting employed this way in the public space because it provides a common sense of our physical place, a location for people to meet and discuss and grieve together. “We were just folk that needed to get away from watching the news and met up on the train tracks,” one artist tells us.
Many of the pieces called up the Latin phrase that has been an unofficial motto of the city of Paris since the mid fourteenth century Fluctuat nec mergitur (Classical Latin: flvctvat·nec·mergitvr) which is translated today to mean “Tossed by the waves but not sinking (or sunk)”. In the coming days we hope that this continues to be true, but also that the shock and pain of such events do not lead to a cycle of violence and inaccurate generalizations, as presumably the actions were intended to provoke. Even in these difficult times it is important that cooler heads prevail.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to those families and friends who are in such utter pain because of these atrocious acts as well as others who are suffering because of war throughout the world.
Shout out to all the great Swoon fans we met last night during the artists talk with her. All the seats were filled so it was standing room only in the back but yet it felt so intimate. Ya’ll are stupendous and smart and handsome and beautiful and we were honored to be with you.
Shout out to the family of American blues institution BB King who passed on this week. His music and talent influenced so many. Sending love and condolences to his family and friends.
Let’s see what Jeffery Deitch has in store for Smorgasburg Coney Island starting this week in preparation for the Memorial Day weekend opening – published reports have the roster of street artists at 15 but we’re hearing closer to 25 will be hitting up temporary concrete walls in this outdoor gallery he is doing in partnership with a large real estate firm to promote the new Coney Island. Some names you’ll recognize are old skool 70s-80s train writers like Lee Quinones, Crash, Daze, Lady Pink, Futura, and new people he has been reaching out to from the 2000s and 2010s scene who we bring you regularly like How & Nosm, Skewville, Steve Powers, possibly even ROA . This list will surely grow as word gets out and artists besiege Mr. Deitch to participate. The full installation is to last a month and will be surely caught on film and timelapse video.
Meanwhile, here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring Alexis Diaz, Alka Murat, Appleton, Marco Berta, Blaqk Blaqk, City Kitty, Creepy Creep, Dain, Dasic Fernandez, Duke A. Barnstable, Elsa Sauguet, Eva & Adele, Ever, Goldman Rats, Ines Maas, JR, Penny Gaff, Robert Janz, Sebastian Reinoso Salinas, Seikon Stav6, and Swoon.
” ‘头部 (The Head)’ is an art installation based on the analysis of Chinese Communist posters. When the posters represent the ‘idea’, people are always down the picture and the Mao Tse Tung portrait always floating in heaven, protecting that theory founded in the Russian winters. When they want to describe the pragmatics, Mao is cultivating flowers, going to visit schools, etc.
The idea with ‘The Head’ is to think why the “communist theory” fails in its application to reality, and this is because many times the idea has to be corresponded o taken through a body, a body that exercises the idea, that exercises power. That’s why, part of the installation that we present here, invites people to get into the head, so we all can have the feeling that we are not loyal to the theory; the idealization is as dangerous as it is obsessive.”