Today I was at one of my most favorite places in Miami, in the Wynwood Art District.
The reason why I like it so much is because it is full with street art. More than 75 galleries are located between just a few blocks and every time I get there I find new artworks since my first visit in 2012. When we think about street art we often think about graffiti, the most famous version of street art (like the artist Banksy), but in Wynwood they have whole walls or buildings to work with. The district is very colorful and you can see many different styles from international artists. Most of the artworks are made with spray cans but some are made with a brush or a stencil.
You will find the district between NW 36th street (north), NW 20th street (south), I-95 (west) and Northeast 1st Avenue (east). The center is the so called Wynwood Walls which was created in 2009 by developer Tony Goldman. The walls are contributed by international artists and change every year. Goldman added the Wynwood Doors in 2010 to feature smaller artists. The Walls have expanded to include murals throughout the neighborhood where art covers entire buildings. I especially like Interesni Kaski – Aleksei Bordusov and Vladimir Manzhos, both from the Ukraine. They are inspired by science, religion, cosmology and social subjects and their work should be interpreted freely by the visitors. Their name translates to “interesting fairy tale/story” and they completely covered a building with bright green murals which show fun characters.
Other examples are Logan Hicks and Miss Van. Logan Hicks, an American artist, works with urban landscape and you can see one of his works in the Wynwood walls right now. His stencils are based on photos that he’s taken, and for the Wynwood walls he was walking around New York between 1am and 4am and he took hundreds of photos. His work has seven layers and the stencils got prepared in New York.
Miss Van, from Toulouse, France, creates “Poupes” – female characters. They are childlike woman and she brings her personality in every piece which makes them kind of self-portraits. She is playing with ambiguities, sensuality, eroticism and transcends gender.
You can see so many themes and styles there and I will show you a few in my gallery below. When artists are invited to work at one of the walls or buildings they are free to design it. The artists hope for a sponsor and their goal is to show their work in an art gallery in the Wynwood Design District.
Before Wynwood became an Art District, it was used as the warehouse and manufacturing district and it was full with neglected warehouses, shuttered factories and other unused buildings. The Wynwood Art District Foundation (founded in 2003) transformed those buildings into art complexes, galleries, restaurants and cafes. The rents were affordable and the Art District became more and more famous which got also supported by the Art Basel fair which is hosted in Miami since 2002. Nowadays and specially because street art is always moving, Wynwood is in constant movement as well, and galleries are starting to look for different and cheaper locations like Little Haiti. But like I said in my first sentence at this post it is one of my most favorite places in Miami and you will miss something great if you don’t go there