Monday, January 23, 2017

Murals in Wynwood

Fabio Panone Lopez.  "Birds and Flowers."  Brazil / Miami
There are more than 300 image murals in Wynwood this year, and this is one of my
favorites.  The artist is Fabio Lopez from Porto Alegre in Brazil, although he now works
from studios in Sao Paulo and Miami.  When he does large commissions like this and
needs assistants, he signs "StudioFLOP," which is an anagram of the initials of
his name.

Adrian Avila.  "Two Figures."  Cuba / Miami
Adrian often uses nude figures with faces obscured in his works.  I don't know the
meaning of this work, but anyone who knows art history will recognize a male figure
being shot with arrows and bleeding as the martyr, St. Sebastian.  The abstract gold leaf
around his head may be a halo.  Or they could be Adam and Eve.  Or perhaps she is
St. Irene, Sebastian's cousin, who saved his life (temporarily).  Adrian has also made
oil paintings of these figures, available in a gallery.

Adrian Avila.  "Female Figures Striding."  Cuba / Miami
Adrian is one of the most popular artists at Wynwood; in the last few years he has
created 11 murals for them.  This building is the Greenwood Group, at an intersection,
so there are two large walls to cover.  In the past, they were painted with flowers or
serpents.  Adrian chose to draw five nude female figures on this side, and four
additional figures, both male and female, on the North side.  His drawing recalls
the work of Peter Paul Rubens.

Zosen and Mina Hamada.  "Tropical."
He is from Argentina, she is from Tokyo, and they live in Barcelona.
This husband and wife team travel all over the world painting buildings and walls
in their bright, cheerful, semi-abstract style.

Zosen and Mina Hamada.  "A Fun Day."
A second mural by the husband and wife team, a couple of blocks away.

Ahol.  "Sleepy Eyeballs."  Miami
"Ahol Sniffs Glue" is the nickname for David Anasagasti, one of Miami's most
popular graffiti artists.  Variations of the sleepy eyeballs mural are found on stores
and nightclubs and hotels and warehouses, as well as in private collections all over Miami.

Ahol.  "Sleepy Eyeballs."
Notice how he paints on the sidewalk as well as the wall of this gallery.

Bushwick Collective.  "Trump Destroys Democracy."  New York / Miami
This group of artists started in New York, but now also have a studio in Miami.  They are
often polemical, supporting protection of the environment and anti-Trump.  This is one of
the largest murals in Wynwood; it continues to the right and is about 130 feet long and
16 feet high.  "Come On - What the Hell do You Have to Lose?"

Bushwick Collective.  "Trump Destroys Democracy."  New York / Miami
The central figures are Donald Trump as the Evil Joker from "Batman," holding a knife
to Lady Liberty.  Elswhere souls are wandering into the fires of hell.

Claudia LaBianca.  "Vintage Boutique."   Italy / Miami
Some businesses hire artists to paint their walls.  In this case, a popular store in
Wynwood hired prolific graffiti artist Claudia LaBianca to paint their wall.
Claudia also has several other walls in Wynwood.  Originally from Sicily,
she now works in Miami.  She comes from a family with strong women and often
paints strong, confident, maybe brash women.

Paola Delfin.  "The Black Pacifier."  Mexico
Paola usually paints female figures in her murals.  In this case, she created two murals
side by side with the same name.  A "pacifier" can be what you stick in an infant's mouth
to quiet it, but a "pacifier" is also someone who brings peace.  The above work by Paola
looks like a stained glass window.

Paola Delfin.  "Black Pacifier."  Mexico
The companion piece is of a Black woman.

Mutavision.  "The Hexagonal Wall."  Miami
The wall certainly looks like it undulates, but as a matter of fact, it is perfectly flat
but has been painted to look 3D.  The pattern goes back to ancient Rome and mosaics.

Nychos.  "Strike Eagle"  Graz, Austria
Nychos grew up in a family of hunters; his father and grandfather were both avid
huntsmen who brought home slain deer, to be cut up for food.  Young Nychos grew up
seeing skeletons  and handling them, and he often paints skeletons or the raw flesh
of creatures.  He also paints rather terrifying huge images of raptor birds.

"Aztec Head."  I can't read the artist's stylized signature.  Notice the "shadow"
painted on the sidewalk.

Juan Travieso  "Two Tigers."  Havana / New York / Miami
Juan is from Cuba, but today works from studios in New York and Miami.   He has just
received an M.F.A. from the Museum School of Fine Arts in Boston.  His works often
are based on themes of impermanence and decay.

RETNA.  "Wynwood Arts Complex."  Los Angeles
The mural is seven stories high, covered with the unique calligraphy of RETNA. 
RETNA (born Marquis Lewis in Los Angeles) is a contemporary artist recognized
for graffiti art.  He developed a distinctive constructed script which is derived from
Blackletter, Egyptian hieroglyphics, Arabic, and Hebrew calligraphy, as well as more
traditional types of street graffiti.

The London Police.  "An Automotive Parts Store."  English / Amsterdam
The London Police are two atists from London, who live in Amsterdam.  The bubble-like
figures are typical of their work and the cheesy female figure is typical of automotive
calendars and repair shops.

d.Face.  "Is the Answer Love?"  London, England
d.Face (Dean Stockton) is a British graffiti artist who was greatly influenced by
New York Pop Art of the 70s and 80s, especially Lichtenstein and Warhol.  He often
paints huge comic strip-like images.

Faith 47.  "Lionesses Attacking Deer."  South Africa
Faith is from South Africa and has painted several murals in Wynwood.  Her husband
is the street artist DAL East.

Shalak Attack and Bruno Smoky.  "Free Lolita." Canada / Chile
Shalak is a woman and Smoky is her husband; they currently live in Toronto.
The mural advocates freedom for the Orca whale kept in captivity in Sea World.
The mural is 83 feet long and 16 feet high, an enormous work.

Celso Gonzales.  "Skull Tondo."  Cuba
This is a special work by one of the most esteemed Cuban street artists.  Although
it looks at this distance as if it were spray painted like the other murals,
it is not.    Also, what appears to be cavities in the skull are not.

Celso Gonzales.  "Skull Tondo."  Cuba
When you come close to the work, you see that it is actually a mosaic made up of
hundreds of pieces of tile, some of them gilded gold or silver.  And instead of dark holes,
you see that there are actually pictures of a man and a woman.

Shepard Fairey.  "Fruits of Our Labor."  Los Angeles
Shepard is one of the leading street artists of Los Angeles.  This is a huge mural on the
offices of Mana Industries, whose owner owns most of the property in Wynwood.
He would like to build high rise condos in the area where people would also
enjoy the ambiance of the artistic community and murals.

Shepard Fairey and Cleon Peterson.  "Power . . . Glory."  Los Angeles
The two artists are the leading street artists of Los Angeles.  This mural occupies the
South wall of a small office building.  All four walls are painted with murals
involving the black silhouettes.

Mac Stewart.  "Three Masks."  Atlanta, Georgia
Mac Stewart is a 21 year old self-taught artist from Atlanta, Georgia.  He has
already had an exhibition at the High Museum in Atlanta. as well as other
major museums in other cities.  He is the youngest street artist in Wynwood.

Evoca1.  "Man and Wolves."  Dominian Republic
Evoca1 (Elio Mercado) is a 29 year old figurative painter, street artist, designer and
activist trying to merge art and humanity.  He lives now in Hollywood, Florida.

Evoca1.  "Falcon, Man, and Tiger."  Dominican Republic
He often portrays animals and potential violence.

Interesni Kazki.  "The Green House."  Kiev, Ukraine
"Interesni Kazki" means "fairy-tales," and Aleksei and Vladimir use the nickname
because it describes their style.  They have brought graffiti art to East Europe and
have been creating murals in Russia and Ukraine for ten years.  This is Wynwood House,
headquarters for the offices of Goldman Properties, which owns much of the land in
Wynwood.  They painted the entire building green and then created a series of
whimsical figures and plants.  This is the North Wall with Morning Glory and cockroach.

Interesni Kazki.  "The Green House."  Ukrainian
The is the East Wall with calla lilies and exotic flowers with feet.

AVAF or Nomad.  "The Lightbox Store."   Brazil and France
This highly dramatic abstract mural was created by the duo of Eli Sudbrack from Sao Paulo
and Christophe Hamaide-Pierson from Paris.  They began working togther in 2005 and
today have studios in New York and Paris.  They do graphic design and advertising
as well as public murals.

Findac and Kevin Ledo.  "Sun Goddesses."   Irish and Portuguese / Canadian
Finbarr Dac / Findac is from Cork, Ireland, and Kevin was born in Canada of
Portuguese parents.  They work in London and Paris.  Kevin often paints figures
using gold foil halos, and in this joint work, they both used foil.  It is a very
large mural.

Odobo.  "Art Basel 2016 - Geisha Girl."  Miami / England
Paul Kettlewell is a graduate of the U. of Derby in England and has come to Miami,
where he is involved in a number of artistic endeavors and companies.  He uses various
names in each of the companies and often works with crews / aides.
Some other names are: Mutavision, Gods and Goodfellas, and Weerdo.

Odobo Studio.  "Love During War."  Miami
Odobo / Paul Kettlewell created seven murals along a very long wall on N. Miami Ave.
There were two geisha girls, this large work, and several others.

Abstrk.  "Sherlock Holmes."  Miami

AVAF.  Fabien Castanier Gallery / Goldman Properties Bldg.  Brazil & France
Wynwood is now home to dozens of art galleries, most in old buildings.  But some new
construction has begun, and Fabien Castanier is one of the larger galleries.  AVAF (Eli
Sudbrack of Brazil and Christophe Hamaiade-Pierson of France) aim at vibrant and
disorienting images which they call "vivid astro focus," a reflection of the daily
sensory overload we all experience.

Diplo Carnage.  "Mickey and Guernica" and "Purple Dragon."  Miami
"Diplo Carnage" consist of a number of artists who do advertising and graphic design.
On the left is a parody of Picasso's "Guernica" with Mickey Mouse, and on the right is
a variant of "Puff, the Magic Dragon."

Metrowrapz.  "Major Key."  Hollywood, Florida
Metrowrapz is a group of artists in Hollywood, Florida, who do graphic installations
and advertising.  This beautiful mural is a gate to a parking lot.

Alexis Diaz.  "Crow and Two Skulls."  Puerto Rico
This is one of several murals Alexis has in Wynwood.

James Jirat Patradoon.  "Skull."  Sydney, Australia
The fraternity of street artists encircles the globe.  James Jirat is an Australian of Thai
descent.  He is described as a cyberpunk, and designs digital art, tee shirts, cd covers,
posters for concerts, and lots of "Gothic-like" objects which he sells.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Wynwood Walls 2016 Part 2

Entrance to the courtyards of Wynwood Walls.

There are five interlinking courtyards which begin here.  They were once huge parking lots
and are surrounded by one story buildings with huge areas of wall space and no windows.
There is also a cafe and snack bar.  Wynwood had been a run-down area with high crime
until nine years ago when Goldman Properties, which specializes in revitalizing older
areas arrived.  Tony Goldman believed art could bring a community together and
began the tradition of Wynwood Walls.

Shepard Fairey.  "Chrysanthemums and Preacher."  Los Angeles
Shepard Fairey is one of the leaders in the L.A. graffiti scene.  If you have ever traveled 
on an L.A. freeway or through many districts in town, you know how rich
the tradition is.

Some walls are purely abstract art, using simply line and color, while others
are from the Hyper-Realistic style.
Wynwood Walls has been very successful, and these days there are large numbers of
tourists visiting every day of the year.  Tourist buses go up and down the streets, cars
cruise, tour groups following leaders with raised umbrellas walk around, and
 golf-cart-tours abound.  Many of the tourists are foreign, and you hear more French, 
German, Japanese, Chinese, Russian, and many other languages than you do English.

Michael Vasquez and Jose Felix Perez.  "The Foundry."  Cuba
Vasquez and Perez work in a hyper-realistic style.  You an almost feel the heat from
the smelting furnace and want to step back to avoid the sparks.

Inti.  "Codo a Codo."  Chile
Inti is one of the most famous Chilean graffiti artists.  He often works with folklore
and myth.  This golden orange color is a keynote of his works; it is used in almost
all of his paintings.

Evoca1.  The Bullfighter."  Dominican Republic.
Evoca1 (Elio Marcado) was born in the Dom. Rep. in 1984; he now lives in Miami.
He first started painting in Wynwood several years ago when the Toro Shoe Co., makers
of exotic sneakers, hied him to decorate their offices and workspace in Wynwood.
The name suggested "bull," and he has done several murals of various sizes for the store.

Chanoir.  "Fairy Shoe Store."  Barcelona
Although born in Spain, he graduated from the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and lives
there now.  He has worked in many countries and is very famous.  He works only at
night to protect his identity.  His works are characterized by number and density of images.

Chanoir.  Side wall to "Fairy Shoe Store."  Spanish / French.
The major area of murals in one either side of 2nd Avenue NW between 29th Street
and 22nd Street.  But you must walk three blocks to either side of 2nd Avenue also.

"Oculto Tequila Staves" was the type of mural using a skull, a repeated pattern,
and meticulous detail.

RETNA.  "Calligraphy."   Los Angeles

RETNA (Marquis Lewis) is a West Coast artist, part of the very rich graffiti scene
in Los Angeles.  He is fascinated by various styles of writing - hieroglyphics, Arabic,
Old Gothic - and he combines the various forms.

Wes21 and Onur.  "Gloved Hand and Ship."  Switzerland
These two men are two of the most famous graffiti artists from Switzerland.  Wes21
is from Biel, near Basel, and Onur is from Zurich.  They have created large murals all
over the world.  They combine hyper-realism with fantasy, as in this mural.

Dabs and Myla.  "Comic Heroes."  Australia
Dabs and Myra are a husband and wife team from Melbourne, Australia.  They have
created murals in cities all over the world.  They have now moved to Los Angeles,
but they are usually traveling.  They often use figures from comics.

Okuda.  "Face with Turban."  Okuda
Okuda is another graffiti artist from Spain, who has painted many murals in
Europe and North Africa, often brilliantly colored, faceted faces like this one.
His face of "Mother Theresa" is very famous.

How and Nosm.  "A Long Story."  Germany
These are twin brothers from Germany who have a style using black and white
drawing in highly complex scenes.  They have used this wall in the courtyard for
several years with different images, although similar in style.  Fantasy and science fiction.

How and Nosm.  " A Long Story."  left side    Germany

How and Nosm.  "A Long Story."  right side    Germany

Cryptik.  "Persian Carpet Patterns."  Los Angeles
Cryptik is one of the leading Los Angeles artists, with a style often employing
meticulous detail and repeated patterns, like this one.

Findac.  "Butterfly Girl."  Ireland.
Findac is from Cork, Ireland, and has worked all over the world.  He usually paints
female beauty, often a Pan-Asian woman.  On this mural ,there is a very fine net
 hanging several inches in front of the mural, and the butterflies are attached to it.
 They move in the wind, and you can't see the fine mesh of the net,
so they seem alive and active.

Case.  "Dancing Fingers."  Germany
Case is one of the most famous German graffiti artists, and this mural, highlighting
one of the major walls facing the largest courtyard, has been painted for several years
and is particularly beautiful.

El Seed.  "Arabic Calligraphy."  French-Tunisian.
El Seed is a 35 year old man from Paris, of Tunisian background, who learned Arabic
calligraphy at the age of 18.  He found the patterns beautiful and the poetry enchanting.
He has painted commissions all over the world, espousing peace and love.
Shading makes the black lines appear three dimensional.  You can see images
of many of his murals on the internet.  These are verses from a 3rd c. philosopher.

David Walker.  "Woman with Flowing Hair."  London
Walker frequently paints faces with explosive color, using both spray cans and brushes.
Like all graffiti artists, he does not earn a living painting murals - he does it out of love
 and fascination.  He earns a living by painting traditional format oil canvases, although
with his own unique imagery.

Txemy and Mura.  "Lady and Dove."  Barcelona
Txemy Mur is a famous Spanish graffiti artist who creates very complex works
with infinite space and many objects.

Txemy and Mura.  "Face and Checkerboard."  Spanish

"Woman's Head and Graffiti"


Fin Dac and Kevin Ledo.  "Two Sun Goddesses."  Ireland
The two Irish graffiti artists decided to work together on a mural, using a common
subject but separate approaches.  Fin DAC did the figure on the left, and Ledo did the
one on the right.  I was told that is real gold leaf they applied for halos.

"The London Police" mural - right side
The London Police are two Englishmen who enjoy traveling and painting.  So they
spend their time traveling the world and painting murals, freely or on commission.
They often use these small figures as their major characters.  They currently live 
in Amsterdam when not traveling.

London Police Mural - little men

London Police.  "Little Men."  English in Amsterdam.

CP1  "Peering Eyes"  Chile / Miami
CP1 (Claudio Picasso) grew up in Chile but now resides and works in Miami.

Pixel Pancho.  "The Birdcage."  Italian
Pixel frequently uses robotic figures and vegetation in his murals.

Santiago Rubino.  "Hall of Two Truths."  Argentina
Rubino, like many of these street artists, earns his living by painting oil paintings on
canvas and selling them.  He also produces lithographs and other prints.  These
three sell very well, and he often creates in sets of three.  These images are in the
main central courtyard, where black frames have been built around niches.

"Ship with Hull-Face of Neptune"
Another mural in the central courtyard.  The courtyards are lighted at night for 
tourists, the restaurants are open, they have musicians playing in several of the
courtyards, and they sometimes have yoga classes in the quiet of the evening.
This is one of Miami's major tourist attractions these days.

Decertor.  "Introspection."  Peru
Daniel Cortez-Torres chose his nickname because he "deserted" art school in order to
become a street artist.  He has created many huge murals in Lima and other Peruvian
cities, all emphasizing a Native Peruvian.  He began by creating murals for murdered
gang members in Lima.  The image looks like a woven Inca tunic.

"Art and Sol" Studio featured many mask-like faces.  It would appear to be the work
of a local street artist.  The Wynwood Walls Project has brought great attention and
masses of tourists to the area.  There are now many artists' studios and art galleries 
and restaurants in the area.

"Art and Sol" close-ups of multi-national customers in the shop.

A roll-up garage door was exuberantly painted.

A very large wall with several images.  The number of paintings this year was the
greatest ever.  They say about 150 in total, but I suspect there are many more than
that, by artists not registered with the project but interested.

"Princess and Fairy Palace" had several sections.  Some artists, like this one, prefer
basically black and white, while others like brilliant color.

"Big Bad Wolf" was on the side wall of a school playground.