It’s definitely quieter here in Wynwood when there are no art fairs. But there is still so much activity. The daytime neighborhood is pounding with construction and new buildings and restaurants/bars have a steady flow of guests every night, Monday through Sunday. Thump, thump, thump. The daily foot traffic is diminished, perhaps because the sun and heat have chased everyone inside during the day, but this week we saw hundreds of people whizzing by on scooters, and some large interest with a fleet of workers was preparing for a large music event in an empty lot – with tents, food trucks, stages, lights. Now that Art Basel 2021 is officially kicking off at the end of November, no doubt there will be big things happening in Wynwood again.
So of course we went to the beach to see the never-ending blue waves. The storm on the horizon was dark and funnel-like for an hour before it disappeared and the sun coaxed a half rainbow to glimmer and shimmer brightly. The seagulls gathering near your chaise lounge are clearly there with an air of expectation, however – miserly looking over your ziplock bags with sandwiches and potato chips as you carefully peel back the paper towel to steal a bite. They are cute, true, but ever focused on your moves.
Otherwise, the Wynwood district is just chock-a-block with art – permissioned and otherwise. The faces that watch as you walk are entreating, entertaining, flaunting, peering, taunting, speaking their own impenetrable speeches and poems. The neighborhood is still in movement, still liquid, still poised for revelation. The local names are liberally sprinkled with ones you recognized, many international. If the impulse to walk one more block in search of a jewel captures you, follow it because you are invariably rewarded.
Our interview with the street today includes Anthony Lister, Bird Seed Anthony, Dan Kitchener, Disem305, Greg Mike, Gregg Rivero, Hiero Veiga, Melski, MSG Crew, Narco, NM Salgar, RACE, Sipros, and Tabue.
Neo-psychedelic-cosmic-abstract-expressionist Sickid took this wall by storm in Wynwood and is blowing minds daily with his curious cast of misshapen feverish oddballs and satiric characters doing nearly unspeakable things that you love to analyze.
Originally from Bristol, the Street Artist has done much travel since those late 2000s where he first hit Shoreditch with his logo and stretched his interpretations of archetypes, architecture, everyday scenery far enough for adventurous viewers to hop inside and slither around, imagining themselves just outside reality.
Frankly, this comic world he shows is not that much more surreal than this urban swamp called Wynwood, and he’s probably just painting allegory and metaphor to slag the scaley sidewinders he’s been meeting in the sun-beaten neighborhood. Delicious and salty street food for the unsuspecting tourist, this is a hot-steaming stacked meat sandwich baked inside a deep and chipped chafing dish in his fabulous fever-dream, braised with Corona beer and a hint of coconut suntan lotion.
A Street Art mural triptych in the thick of Wynwood, without flourish, with guile.
From Bosch to Beckmann to Bacon the multi-paneled presentation of the barnacled and beatific has commanded the attention of art fans for centuries. Here on a backlot in the swampy section of Miami that’s now known for public painting, we find a trio of uniquely stylized female sitters, one slightly more robotic than her flanks. In a darkly storied and neglected neighborhood now painfully clamoring for attention, it was this partially obscured wall that adroitly captured ours.
Commanding your eyes, and then your
heart, these three hold court in the scruffy sod with complementary hues,
blinkered by a tree that blocks and reveals according to the breeze and the
sun. Calling to mind altar paintings from the Middle Ages as well as pensively
poetic video panels at the Venice
Biennale, this maximizing of an easily overlooked opportunity skillfully attracts
the discerning art fan, leaving you satiated, slightly stirred.
In Street Art and graffiti news, New York has had some “whole car” pieces on the subway line recently, including one that looked like a whole train! Old timers were rubbing their eyes. According to a local media outlet, legendary graffiti artist Chris “Freedom” Pape gave his assessment; “..based on the artist’s philosophy, he gives it an “A” but based on the quality of the graffiti on old subways, he gives it a “C”. Also a new film about New York octogenarian Street Artist Robert Janz opened this week at the Anthology Film Archives. Janz in the Moment is the passion project of Filmmaker Joanna Kiernan that features many corners and crazy details of New York’s streets that are familiar to us – and probably to you.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week from Miami, and this time featuring Add Fuel, Atomik, Bisco Smith, CRKSHNK, Dal East, Feik, Hysterical Men, Jilly Ballistic, Kai, Mr. June, Pure Genius, Rick Azevedo, WCKT, What Will You Leave Behind, Will Power, and Winston Tseng.
Maybe its because animals are safe subjects to paint and make it
past the neighborhood censors, maybe its because they are handily metaphoric
when it comes to communicating a complicated or difficult idea. Maybe it is
just because they are cute and everybody on Instagram is going to offer a
clever rejoinder on your new painting in Miami, you cool dude/dudette.
From unicorns to hippos to lions and alligators, the street is
full of them right now around every corner in the Wynwood District and you can
still enjoy them until the neighborhood becomes so developed that they kill
them all. Well not all of them. One or two will still be creeping up on you in
the occasional abandoned lot that has a high tax bill or a hefty remediation of
toxic soil that still makes it too pricey for potential investors.
All of that wild conjuring aside, here is a selection of currently
running creatures of the gritty urban jungle in this humid and hot southern
city for you to marvel at.
Miguel Ángel Sánchez AKA SATURNO is an artist from a small town near Barcelona in Spain. A self-taught painter and illustrator, he’s become a recognized name in the European graffiti scene since he began in 1995, biting off a bigger piece of fame with each project.
Since 2012 he’s developed his own, unmistakable style that frightens and thrills in equal measure, and he has been painting his fantastical creations on walls big and small across Europe. With an illustration style that boasts ultra-real monsters and characters of exaggerated proportions and serious high gloss, he’s led and collaborated on many commercial projects and brands in the last few years with fire-breathing success.
The 2019 edition of Art Basel/Wynwood this past December allowed him to showcase his imagination and skills in quite remarkable ways on a couple of murals in Wynwood, Miami. One, in particular, is this astoundingly baroque beast dressed in the finest regal threads, dripping jewels, and saliva with bulging eyes and a voracious appetite for consumption.
Fans say Saturno examines the subconscious and darker aspects of people and behaviors with his work – which may lead one to conclude that this epic character is a thinly veiled metaphor for opportunist alligators whom you may meet here who are trolling flamboyantly through this rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, regaling themselves with so many shiny baubles. Certainly this reptilian socialite is audacious and confidently showy, and Saturno has hit gold with a likeness that is both repulsive and compelling.
The ever-morphing conglomerate crew called 1UP appears and disappears in cities and countries across the world today, their tag aesthetics drawn from a smorgasbord of styles, rather than just one or two. On the radar, yet skillfully under it, the membership of this large team includes the raw and the polished, the illustrative and the calligraphic.
During Art Basel in December, it appears that a few writers of One United Power were in Miami outputting the simple one-color tags, tight bubbles and sparkling throw-ups, as well as full-blown productions that conjure other worlds and childhood fantasy-scapes.
Happy Holidays to all you stupendous and talented and charming BSA readers! We thank you from the bottom of our socks for your support this year. The best way we can think of to celebrate and commemorate the year as we finish it is to bring you 13 FROM 2013 – Just one favorite image from a Street Art or graffiti photographer that brings a story, a remembrance, an insight or a bit of inspiration to the person who took it. For the last 13 days they will share a gem with all of us as we collectively say goodbye and thank you to ’13.
Geoff Hargadon is a photographer and periodic contributor to BSA who takes his shots from the perspective of an artist, collector, and unabashed fan of the Street Art scene. Affable and engaged with his surroundings, Hargadon’s wizened perspective is often looking for something that says more than what it appears to and in the process can be revelatory.
Girl on a Skateboard, An Avatar in Wynwood 2013
With 400 million photos a day being uploaded to Facebook and Instagram alone, it gets harder and harder to shoot photos that stand above the crowd. I think this is no different in the street art world – maybe it’s even harder. This year I shot fewer street art photos than in years past because I don’t see much sense in capturing work that’s already been captured well by others. There is little to add. Instead I’ve been patiently waiting to document moments that come to me – it could be a random person entering the frame, a shift in the light, a changing composition. In this digital world, where others rush to be the first to capture and post something new, and where time is their enemy, I try to put time on my side.
Let me start with what I think is wrong about this photograph, shot in Miami on December 6, 2013, at 1:20am on NW 2nd Ave, between 24th and 25th: it’s dark, out of focus, the subject is not facing the camera, and, perhaps to the great disappointment of BSA readers, there is no art in the frame.
This is what I think is right about this photograph: it’s dark, out of focus, the subject is not facing the camera, and there is art happening all around the frame, very much responsible for creating the scene itself.
There are only a few of nights out of the year when Wynwood is this chaotic, and at this time of the year it’s because of the massive art scene happening around the art fairs. All of this helped to create the moment when I spotted this girl weaving her skateboard freely between taxis that were hopelessly motionless. She seems carefree, risky, happy, ethereal – many of the things that have drawn me to street art in the first place. She is an Art Basel Miami avatar.
(Further, taxis are so scarce in Miami that I challenge anyone to come up with a photo of four of them in a single frame.)
We’re counting down the last 12 days of 2012 with Street Art photos chosen by BSA readers. Each one was nominated because it has special meaning to a reader or is simply a great photograph from 2012 that they think is great. Our sincere thanks to everyone who shared their favorite images.
Our ninth entry comes from photographer Oliver Correa and it was taken in the Wynwood Arts District of Miami during Art Basel 2012. Often the shot is about recording the art. The less featured view is the one that reveals the personal, even intimate relationship people can feel toward it on the street.
In Miami during Basel you’ll see many people posing hard with their crews in front of walls, and then you’ll see friends taking cellphone shots of each other, and couples, families…. all kinds of affinities are posed in front to remember that moment. This one from Oliver somehow goes a little deeper – giving you a sense of the warmth and connection people feel with art in the streets when it speaks to them. The RIME piece goes along the block on North Miami Avenue with a variety of faces and expressions, mimicing the party atmosphere and the multiple conversations taking place – ultimately it was one of the most engaging for many.
“The person in the photo is a friend I made wandering Wynwood,” says the photographer.
“It was an amazing trip!,” says Canadian Street Artist Labrona, who was in Miami for the Art Basel 2012 festivities this month. While there he collaborated on four walls. Two were with the Canadian art collective En Masse, who has been working with a monochromatic palette to allow a multitude of styles to co-exist in the same venue peacefully; drawing attention to the techniques and hand style of the various contributors while presenting unified mural.
“The other two walls were with my long time painting buddy Omen and new painting buddy name Five,” says Labrona. Here are a few shots highlighting his work.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Astrodub, Cruz, Doug Nox aka the Harlequinade, Faring Purth, Herakut, How Nosm, Jilly Ballistic, MCity, Nether, RISK, Sonata, Trip, and VHILS.
We start off with MCity visiting Queens and hanging with Allison and Garrison from Ad Hoc, who helped him get some walls while he is here in New York. Then we get some Miami shots from Geoff Hargadon, and back to Brooklyn with photographer Jaime Rojo.
Happy Friday! Wipe that stain off your shirt from last nights office holiday party and brush your teeth and get to work so you can be a zombie all day. For our part – it’s time for a little Street Art roundup of some things that you might like.
1. Miami in The House All Weekend
2. “Deck the Walls” at Stolen Space (London)
3. “Rinse & Repeat” Group Show at Ambush (Sydney, Australia)
4. Skewville in France, Quel Surprise! (Lille, France)
5. Jaye Moon at Paik Hae Young (Seoul)
6. “Sowing The Seeds of Love” – Just Seeds Group Show Friday (Manhattan)
7. Icy & Sot at Nu Hotel (Brooklyn)
8. Zombie Nation – Ezra Eismont
9. Herakut The Giant Story Book Project (VIDEO)
10. SWOON’s Konbit Shelter – Art in the Streets – MOCAtv (VIDEO)
Miami in The House All Weekend
This weekend the fun is for Street Art in Miami and check out some of our recommendations (Best Miami Street Art: BSA Picks Awesomest for Basel ’12) for hoofing it around that we posted Wednesday. Tonight of course there are a number of grand opening parties/after parties (including Fountain), but really just being on the street is equally fun if not funner! Thanks for that adverb from 7 year old Darnell Wilsen of Brooklyn.
For a full listing of Art Fairs, Events and Street Murals click here and here.
But not all the fun is in Miami here are a few picks of what’s happening elsewhere in the world:
“Deck the Walls” at Stolen Space (London)
Greeting cards are a nice way to say Merry Christmas to Grandma, and for suburban white middle class families to distribute photos proving that their kids are not on drugs. This is Stolen Space Christmas Show celebrates greetings cards and holiday cheer with D*Face, Word to Mother, Will Barras and David Bray among others putting their own imprimatur on Christmas. Come on, Uncle Bert and Aunt Dolittle will be there, so comb your hair, put some shoes on and get out of the house!
For further information regarding this show click here.
“Rinse & Repeat” Group Show at Ambush (Sydney, Australia)
With a collection of Australian Graffiti and Street Art Artists, “Rinse & Repeat” finds its inspiration by taking a look at the Old Masters and re-interpreting them with their own styles and techniques. An interesting proposition albeit fraught with risks – there are a few good ones here though that will delight your academic/street sensibilities. Included in the line up are: Adnate (AWOL Crew),Bridge Stehli, Cam Wall, Carl Steffan, Deams (AWOL Crew), Fintan Magee, Guido van Helten, Phibs, Shannon Crees, Slicer (AWOL Crew) , Team and Teazer.
For further information regarding this exhibition click here.
Skewville in France, Quel Surprise! (Lille, France)
Hope they realize what they have gotten themselves into, but Vertikal Gallery is hosting Brooklyn Street Art collective Skewville for a solo show entitled “Be Inside”. Considering we have had one or two Lillians in Brooklyn putting work up on the streets over the last few years, this sounds like a cultural exchange program of some kind, right?
For further information regarding this exhibition click here.
“Sowing The Seeds of Love” – Just Seeds Group Show Friday (Manhattan)
The Art Collective Just Seeds new group exhibition titled “Sowing The Seeds of Love” opens tonight at the Munch Gallery in Manhattan. The artists in Just Seeds aim to put forth their world views on a variety of issues – looking to inform and bolster you through the power of art. Participating in this show are: Jesus Barraza, Kevin Caplicki, Melanie Cervantes, Santiago Doesntsitstill, Alec Dunn, Molly J Fair, Thea Gahr, Nicolas Lampert, Josh MacPhee, Fernando Marti, Colin Matthes, Dylan Miner, Roger Peet, Jesse Purcell, Pete Railand, Favianna Rodriguez, Shaun Slifer, Chris Stain, Meredith Stern, Mary Tremonte and Bec Young.
For further information regarding this exhibition click here.
Icy & Sot at Nu Hotel (Brooklyn)
Iranian expats and brothers Icy & Sot invite you to celebrate with them their first foray in the hospitality business. The brothers designed a room at the Nu Hotel in Brooklyn and you are invited to come over tonight for some refreshments.
Artist Ezra Eismont has a Kickstarter fundraiser to help publish his Zombie Nation book, which features his zombified portraits of icons and celebrities. Seems like a heartwarming holiday thing to do, doesn’t it? Please support your local artists and small family businesses.
Herakut The Giant Story Book Project (VIDEO)
SWOON’s Konbit Shelter – Art in the Streets – MOCAtv (VIDEO)