Originally considered as vandalism, graffiti and street art have been developed greatly in terms of technique and style for the last decade, became widely accepted and supported by the public and even preserved in museums. To learn more about how paintings in the streets can be transformed into a gallery space, here is our selection of the best indoor events and urban art installations detected during Miami Art Week 2019.
To get another point of view, we asked Bjørn Van Poucke, curator of The Crystal Ship, renowned mural festival in Belgium, and author of the book “Street Art Today” to share his impressions about Art Basel this year. As he finely noticed and described Miami Art Week’s routine, you have “to party” hard to be able to see the majority of interesting events. We will quote his words as introduction to the indoor part of the Miami Art Week 2019:
“Every year I go to visit my friends in Miami, coincidentally (wink) Miami Art Week also takes place at the same time. A day in Miami looks something like this: washing away my hangover with second-rate breakfast at the hotel, Uber to South Beach where I visit one of the many art fairs, meanwhile watching people who apparently have a permanent Instagram filter tattooed on their face. In the afternoon I try to catch a second art fair, in combination with a nice gallery show or another art event. As soon as the sun goes down, I rush to Wynwood to let myself be dragged into the street art party noise until I plunge into my bed somewhere in the late hours, just in time to catch another 2 hours of sleep before it starts overall again!” – Bjørn Van Poucke.
Conceptual Art Exhibitions
Far from the Wynwood’s bustle but not that far geographically, we attended a series of conceptual shows pleasantly fresh and thought-provoking. Thus, “Visual Sequencing and Tracking Skills” by Italian artist 2501 surprised by the combination of light installations, video, and sound. Even though not everyone might understand the meaning, most importantly, everyone was there. The value of Miami Art Week’s events is in networking and socialization. Away from the crowd and working hard in their studios and in the streets throughout the year, artists meet their old friends and make new connections during Art Basel in Miami.
Google Street View is a technology featured in Google Maps and Google Earth that provides interactive panoramas from positions along many streets in the world, and not only streets… “Black Galvanized Device“ show presented a series of blurred pictures captured by Google at Miami beach and printed on the beach towels. Another room unveiled a composition made of numerous trash cans set up with lights and sounds.
The exhibition organized by Andrew Antonaccio and Filio Galvez formerly known as 2alas in collaboration with contemporary Cuban artist Reynier Leyva Novo, explores the materialistic excesses that have led society on a race to the bottom brazenly dressed up as “progress”. Visitors observed ordinary everyday objects filled with liquids and presented as installations that make us think.
A solo show “X-Posed” by Marina Zumi was difficult to find but those who made it were rewarded by breathtaking beauty. Located in one of the Wynwood blocks, surrounded by loud crowds of people, food trucks, galleries, and non-stop parties, there was a door that brings you to a store that you have to go through to find the exhibition. But once you enter, materializing into another reality of dark neon “house”, space blows your mind and stimulates the imagination of the future.
Along 2019 extensive lights studies at Marina’s studio in Berlin, she encourages the exploration in between contrasts and perceptions of light and shadows, towards the re-signification of common spaces and objects, becoming just the support of a surreal sneak peek, from a quantum parallel world.
The lights installations its the brut combination from versatile styles, witch the artist been digging and finding new meanings about the inner light as human beings possess and the free will along with the cosmic void.
X-Posed shows in the balance of this artist, displaying art pieces in balance with the light installation and outer wold created for Miami Basel 2019.
“X-Posed brought me an opportunity to show, in an intimate way, my new body of work to those people who already familiar with my work but did not have a chance to experience it. It was a pleasure to receive good criticism and create an ambient where people felt comfortable like at home. A house where you can live free and calm. I saw people working on laptops, having naps, making meetings and chilling as it was natural… At that point I felt full of happiness knowing I managed to transmute the space and objects, reaching just the Feeling.” – Marina Zumi.
To get a better feel of the exhibition, here is a video captured by Fifth Wall TV, UK video producer.
Marina Zumi – Xposed | FWTV
We were lucky enough to swing through Marina Zumi Art's Miami light installation Xposed last week. Hopefully this little edit helps capture some of it's cosmic greatness.TRACK – JNC – CNJ2Posted by Fifth Wall on Friday, December 13, 2019
The Museum of Graffiti
Just a few blocks away from Wynwood, a new museum opened their doors in 2019 with the goal of graffiti preservation. NYC graffiti artist Alan Ket and Miami native attorney Allison Freidin founded Museum of Graffiti to celebrate its emergence in design, fashion, advertising, and galleries. The museum space combines interior exhibitions and installations as well as eleven exterior murals. And of course, the exit is always through the gift shop.
Once you enter, you see a black and white photo collage of trains and early graffiti cpatured in 1970s. Throughout the entire space, curators represented the history of graffiti, from classical writing to fine art gallery and canvases. As an ordinary museum, the Museum of Graffiti will generate three revenue streams — ticket fees, the gift shop, and a gallery that will feature new work from a rotating cast of artists who straddle graffiti and fine art, according to the article in New York Times.
You don’t have to wait until next Miami Art Week, the museum is open to the public daily from 11 am to 7 pm and is closed only on Tuesdays.
Juxtapoz in Black & White
For two years in a row, Juxtapoz Clubhose tookover 3-story building of installations, artist-site-specific works, gallery presentations and special showcases in downtown Miami. In 2019, Juxtapoz presented a special 25th anniversary group show at South Beach. “Juxtapoz at 25: In Black & White”, featured over 100+ drawings from the present and future of contemporary art. Celebrating both the new Juxtapoz Black & White book and Winter 2020 Issue release, the exhibition coincided with special musical performances and a drawing day with Paris-based artist, Jean Jullien.
Throughout the history of Juxtapoz, the magazine has strived to create not only a historical lexicon of outsider and underground arts, but an approachable language that connects the dots between these movements and the contemporary art movement.
This year, the organizers got together over 100 artists from around the world who are past cover artists, most recently featured in the print publication or the next generation of painters and illustrators. Among them Jason REVOK, Conor Harrington, Anna Park, Shepard Fairey, Swoon, Mark Ryden, Laylah Ali, James Jean, Alicia McCarthy, Ellen Berkenblit, Marcel Dzama, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Jenny Morgan, and Axel Void to name a few.
Void Projects in Miami Space
The latest undertaking from Axel Void‘s cultural initiative Void Projects presented an artist space in Downtown, Miami provided by Mana Contemporary. It serves for educational studio residencies, workshops, and cultural programming to the emerging artists. Members of the public are invited to participate in free drawing classes, figure modeling sessions, photography meetups, film screenings, and more. During Miami Art Week, many young and talented artists presented their thought-provoking ideas and wonderful skills, guided and mentored by Axel Void.
As he stated in the Instgarm post, this residency experience is a hope and evidence that artists can mix pleasure and work, personal and professional, and thrive without any middle men, building a solid community to learn and grow together.
In addition to the show, presented throughout 3-story space, Void Project hosted an action-based discussions moderated by Andrew Quarrie of Urbanism Summit. The multidisciplinary platform brings together professionals, city governments, community stakeholders and innovators asks questions relevant to the future of cities. The topic of the discussion was “social activism”. The artists and curators expressed their opinion about what that means to them.
“It’s always nice to catch up with artists and curators who are a bit like family now. And this year was no exception. The highlight of the trip for me was the Axel Void’s show and panel discussion. Although every talented artist would dream about painting in Wynwood during art Basel, but as a viewer, for me personally I got saturated with street art there and ended up not appreciating it.” – Sami Wakim, owner and editor-in-chief of Street Art United States.
Antony Lister Solo Show
Although many people feel overwhelmed by Wynwood, another great show was introduced to the public in Robert Fontaine Gallery in the heart of the artistic neighborhood – “Woke Up On Fire”, a solo exhibition by Anthony Lister. Australian-born painter and installation artist, best known for inventing ADVENTURE PAINTING, presented 15 large scale paintings that explore the artist’s ongoing interest and romance with the Myths and the cultural significance of Super Heroes. In Lister’s newest body of work, the artist captures the human connection, and our collective fascination with Heroes and Villains; good and evil, and the power they hold metaphorically.
Accoring to the gallery review, the canvases include a type of iconography, relating to each mythologized figure. The words and poetic language compositionally float on the canvas, giving the viewer a raw glimpse into the artist’s thinking, and creative process of working and reworking, mapping the painting, shaping the identity and developing the narrative. These verbal markers are like that of a surgeon’s notations on human skin, or a mad scientist whose thoughts of an idea run unstoppable across a chalkboard as a stream of thinking toward an ultimate place of clarity and resolve.
Lister’s paintings are both developmental and academic, poetic, yet fundamentally in flux. Comprised of bold gestures, drips, smears, and comic book colors the painted subjects float on stark white backgrounds as if to be idealized like historical figures hanging in the halls of powerful institutions. Besides Robert Fontaine Gallery, Anthony’s artworks were represented by the Mirus gallery at the Scope art fair. Moreover, Robert de Los Rios invited Anthony to create a mural at Eneida M. Hartner Elementary school in Wynwood. Learn more about it in our Part I review about Miami Art Week 2019.
Scope, Untitled, Art Basel, and Other Artfairs
At least 18 contemporary art fairs are taking place during Miami Art Week annually. GNV URBAN ART has attended most of them from 2014-2019. The difference we observe is in a growing amount of urban artists representing their studio work in gallery spaces. In our opinion, it is a good sign of public interest, acceptance and steps to the instinctualization of urban art as a contemporary art form. On this positive note, we are finishing the 2019 Miami Art Week review and, again, quoting our friend Bjørn Van Poucke.
My highlights are very different from last year, which is a good sign! After all, it is not obvious to stand out among the saturation of art. Who do I think has succeeded? The super strong solo show of Anthony Lister at Robert Fontaine Gallery where he not only made beautiful impressions of superheroes, but also experimented with augmented reality. Scope Art Fair (thanks to ThinkSpace, Mirus and PDP Gallery) is always a bit like coming home. This year I was also invited to participate in the panel discussion, (thank you Suse for hospitality, organization and good times) and I really enjoyed doing that. I have visited Axel Void’s group show at least three times, great work by Leo, Helen Bur, Faith47, Edwin (nice to finally meet you!), Zane Prater, Jofre Oliveras and many many more. I also think that Art Basel is always very well put together, although I prefer to be in the room with upcoming talent.” – Bjørn Van Poucke.
Read our review about exterior art created during Miami Art Week – Miami Art Week 2019. Part I: Outdoor. We will keep exploring Florida Top 10 Urban Art Destinations, project supported by a grant from the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and looking forward to hearing your feedback!