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.
We remember walking down the street somewhere in Los Angeles with Shepard Fairey and a gaggle of other artists after a panel discussion we led at LA MOCA back in the day…Shepard was enthusiastically sharing stories about one thing or another and as he walked, and talked he discreetly and nonchalantly would reach into his back pocket grab a sticker and slap it – sometimes leaping into the air.
Quick. Fast. Done. Noone was the wiser. And that’s how it works. Instantly.
If the artist is a wordsmith he or she can deliver a zinger or a joke. A distilled sentiment can be just as effective as a sermon. A powerful graphic sticker can deliver a cogent idea to the masses.
Legendary photographer and collector, Martha Cooper wrote and published two books about stickers; “Name Tagging”, which shed light on the practice of graffiti writers writing their tag on the ubiquitous “Hello My Name Is” sticker usually displayed at conferences to identify oneself. The second book, “Going Postal” takes its name from the US post office sticker originally intended to address parcels. Graffiti and street art practitioners use them as a platform to deliver artworks and messages to the public on the streets.
Recently during a walk through the streets in Wynwood, Miami we found a set of wooden panels specifically created to be covered with stickers by the multitude of artists visiting the city. Below we share our finds with you. How many artists can you identify?
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.
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 ever feel as if you are levitating above the sidewalk
when walking through the city? It happens. Maybe you just got Tui-Na in
Chinatown and your spinal column is especially stretched and tall. Maybe your
girlfriend just told you that you are definitely The One and your head is in
the clouds. Maybe you are high on opioids.
Hard to say exactly how we felt when walking in Wynwood, Miami last month when we saw this figure from Anthony Lister on the sidewalk across the street from the new Museum of Graffiti.
We’d seen the big Lister tag that accompanied this on the wall above it, smashed alongside the work of so many other artists up and down the block that have occurred since Director Alan Ket and his amazing team opened the museum during Art Basel Week a month ago.
Maybe because it differentiates itself from the myriad murals around the neighborhood, maybe because his newly abstracted superheroic figure appears to float slightly above the surface, it caught our eye and made an impression – creating a sensation of levitation without heavy optics or heavy hand.
It’s good to know that art on the street can still do that. No surprise it was Lister who pulled it off.
“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.
Brexit deadlock is like a thorn in the side of the UK people this week, Trump is shutting down the US government partially here for almost a month (to celebrate 2 years in the White House?), the ‘Yellow Vests’ are striking through France for the 10th weekend, its going to get very cold tonight in New York, and your cousin Marlene is back from the local Women’s March with fire in her eyes and hope in her heart. As usual, the streets are alive with Street Art and graffiti, and we’re bringing it to you.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring 2501, Add Fuel, BirdCap, BustArt, C3, City Kitty, Cranio, Duster, Edu Danesi, Fafi, Frances Forever, Jaeryaime, Kram, LMNOPI, Mark Jenkins, Neon Savage, Os Boys, Pez, Rx Skulls, Sickid, Tatiana Fazlalizadeh, UFO 907, and Zaira Noir .
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Abe Lincoln Jr., Alexis Diaz, Brian Alfred, Celso, City Kitty, Cranio, Deih XLF, Diva Dogla, Dog Byste, Fales, Gane, Jenna Morello, MTO, Pleks, Raf Urban, Slomo29, Spaint, Uriginal.
Words in papers, words in books
Words on TV, words for crooks
Words of comfort, words of peace
Words to make the fighting cease
Words to tell you what to do
Words are working hard for you
Eat your words but don’t go hungry
Words have always nearly hung me.
Tomokazu Matsuyama and Deih killed it this year in Wynwood, no doubt and curator Alan Ket slayed with the solo show by Vhils at the primary gallery on the compound. Art Basel brings the crowds to Miami traditionally but there is no doubt that the magnet of Wynwood’s kid-friendly murals and Street Art as selfie backgrounds wins the day. Everywhere you look you see the families, influencers-in-training, tour guides and gobsmacked gaggles of teens creating pedestrian traffic jams inside Wynwood Walls. These artists and this art may have risen from an outsider marginalised and criminalised culture of illegal vandalism but these crowds are simply enjoying the art and each other.
That foot traffic inside replicates the car and heavy truck traffic jams throughout the neighborhood as new multi-story construction continues apace and the gentrification cycle rapidly courses through the real estate / street culture corpus. Right now this romance between development and art-in-the-streets is still in the heavy petting stage, and there is a lot of star gazing. How long can this tryst continue, you ask? It’s impossible to say what benchmark to measure, but watch for the moment when the sales of mezcal slushies and Moscow Mules are eclipsed by Acai bowls and kale smoothies.
So here’s our first weekly interview with the street, this time directly from Miami, featuring AShop Crew, Audrey Kawasaki, Bordallo II, Deih, Joe Iurato, JonOne, Martin Watson, Tavar Zawacki, Tomokazu Matsuyama, and Vhils.
Here’s our weekly interview with the streets, this week featuring Able, Alexis Diaz, Bruno Smoky, Case Ma’Claim, Crash, Dan Flavin, Ernest Zacharevic, Inti, Jose Mertz, Kryptick, Logan Hicks, Maya Hayuk, Miro, Pichi & Avo, Santiago Rubino, Shalakattak, and Sipros.