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.
You can see Wynwood from Miami Beach now, thanks to new multi-story buildings sprouting up in this art-washed neighborhood, transforming its former glory into something far above you. Soaring upward a few stories are these three, painted by the west coast street artist Miles MacGregor, known as El Mac, who elevates the everyday hero once again on a large scale.
apartment complexes like these are replacing the charming one story high stucco
“bodegas” and warehouses selling Chinese manufactured goods in bulk. The
young sitters appear to be of African and Latin ancestry and you are reminded
of America’s professed love of inclusivity and equality – not the class/wealth-based
exclusivity that is constantly hammered into our collective consciousness by
the relentless ads of luxury brands and lifestyle marketing that only a very
small fraction of the populous will ever own.
are soft-faced, serene-looking children; two of them holding a single rose and
one of them with his hands extended as if offering a prayer or beckoning you to
step into his world. Perhaps they are saints, but it is difficult to discern
what their role is. El Mac asks us to turn our attention to the experimental
novel ‘Beautiful Losers,” by Leonard Cohen.
“What is a saint? A saint is someone who has achieved a remote human possibility. It is impossible to say what that possibility is. I think it has something to do with the energy of love. Contact with this energy results in the exercise of a kind of balance in the chaos of existence. A saint does not dissolve the chaos; if he did the world would have changed long ago. I do not think that a saint dissolves the chaos even for himself, for there is something arrogant and warlike in the notion of a man setting the universe in order. It is a kind of balance that is his glory. …
Something in him so loves the world that he gives himself to the laws of gravity and chance. Far from flying with the angels, he traces with the fidelity of a seismograph needle the state of the solid bloody landscape.”
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.
“Man, what’s with this cough that never goes away?” you ask your boy Tre, who’s laying on the moss green living room rug by the radiator drawing in his black book with an extra fine tip paint pen, listening to Wu Tang. “Could be January,” he offers. “Or maybe its asbestos from that work they’re doing in the elevator shaft.”
Right. “Never mind, lets watch some Beer Bowl!”
Meanwhile on the streets the ideas never stop. We were pretty excited to get up to 167th Street station to see the new mosaics by Brooklyn artist Rico Gatson, who does painting, video, sculpture and installation. These portraits of important contributors to the culture make us all proud. Here are just a handful but there are more and you should go and see them yourself.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Atomik, Captain Eyeliner, Deih XLF, finDAC, Go Vegan, Hoxxoh, Kai, Kevin Ledo, Lefty Out There, Mastrocola, My Dog Sighs, Pez, Rico Gaston, The Revolution Artists, Uninhibited, and What is Adam.