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.
The new 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.
These 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.”
~ Leonard Cohen, ‘Beautiful Losers’, 1965