Friday, December 16, 2011

What on Earth

After another brilliant Basel flashow the neon lights of Miami Beach are dimmed. But soon enough we again fire-up them old holiday season illuminations. Like a mirror of South Beach before the Arts Awakening, the neighborhood of Wynwood has also molted dramatically. Over on the mainland in the past decade, 'Little PuertoRico' has been transformation beyond the beyond. For better of worse with the year closing, perhaps some ruminations on art's place in the swamp are in order.

Watching paint dry one would think shazam-things just don't happen fast enough. But the truth is things are always changing. This is why God invented the 20% Off Sale; invented to further the flow of events. But where there is movement there is wear n tear and oftentimes some unintended transmutation. Such is the weirdness of Wynwood.

Nothing happens all of the sudden; Otto Von Jr. of South Florida proves well versed in Design District cyclical cynicism, when we discussed with elegance how moldy bricks and mortar are giving way to gleaming kubrickian faces, spaces and towers of blinding modern luxury .

Quite the conversation piece at the Design Miami Fair Entrance, this year's very pleasing Pine Lumber Sculpture Conversation Cage now disassembled and loaded on a truck in route to storage on NE 36 street.

But this post is about a neighborhood in the final throes of an ambition gone wild, the focus of the December dispatch is what on earth has happened over there in Wynwood. Like the Gold Rush of Cali past, this unassuming working class neighborhood was intended to become a museum of street art. Instead Wynwood today is a colossal hodgepodge of mash culture anthropological technicolor public venting on a scale unseen since graffiti exploded on the NYC scene 30 years ago. There is an explanation.

Here below is a primer for property owners and would be muralists of all stripes.

If you own a building in this neighborhood (or anywhere else) make haste arrange with an artist of your choosing to commission a work of art lest the place be plastered with uninvited tags and throw-ups.

I will not blame the higher forces for what on earth has happened, but i will say indeed a bodacious bomb of belligerence sure as hell went off in this pocket of floundering Puerto Rican culture and identity. Wynwood is in need of paint... mostly white.

LA's only Retna, Top to Bottom of course.

The site of the impetus swarm the original Locust Project thrives on auto-pilot while the new incarnation in the Design District searches of the next level of re-invention and a new home amid the ruins of self mutilating cut concrete and steel jumble.

Kinda lika OhWow Version 2.0 just less original.

Crass for Clunkers, we Wynwood your ride.

Unstoppable overexposure. Many locals don't visit SoBe anymore either.

Rays of sunshine in a storm of hard. A non-arts business gets w the program.

Southbound from 29 street, N.W. Second Avenue is where the Street Art Circus begins.

But venture just a block off the beaten path and you will see the detritus of a city in shambles from economic instability and lopsided public policy. How little can i get that for...

Venture far beyond the areas of concentrated efforts by our dynamic developers like Goldman and Robins, Miami is on the brink of cultural bankruptcy where despair is just a red-light ticket away and most folk cling to the comfort of their couch except those who brave the pavement on Art Walk Second Saturday in Wynwood.

Not all graffiti is sanctioned, thank the Lawd. When will the endless roadwork end.

North of Wynwood the swamp is as it should be, unchanged for decades.

While the intelligential set politely discuss the nuanced broad trends in this current arts awakening, infusing the anointed few with visual and performing arts funding is their true focus. For better or worse the mass culture folk are not waiting for permission from the adults. Artists are taking to the street with paint cans and expressing visions of their place in the swamp. Question begs, when is enough enough; to what end is the Wynwood blossom a whither.

This holiday season, everybody has one. What's your Brand?


Sunday, November 6, 2011

the Bucky Stops Here

Swampspace Gallery


The Ephemera of ABMB

an event horizon


November 29 - December 4, 2011

"Now there is one outstandingly important fact regarding Spaceship Earth, and that is that no instruction book came with it."

Buckminster Fuller

Miami was once resplendent swamp sparsely inhabited by resilient enigmatic characters

whose visions transformed the tropic into a mecca for modern living.

Ten years ago the interruption achieved temporary singularity

with the arrival of Art Basel Miami Beach.

Today Swampspace is pleased to announce

Bucky's Seven Year Itch in the dawn of

technological singularity.

Proceeds Benefit DASH

Miami Design District

3821 NE 1 Court - Miami, Fl 33137 -


Saturday, November 5, 2011


A bit tardy with an October post due to a medical emergency #$%&@ mortality averted, here is the belated commentary.

20% Off Special

There was a time in Miami's past art history where a handful of interested parties were the only ones concerned with the appreciation and capitalizing of art. Today the circle of friends may be bigger but so is the multitude of the uninterestd. For a thorough briefing of hysterical presidents look no further than the gracious Helen Kohen's moldy Vasari Project, an accumulation of local art industry ephemera organized by our public library system.

Ad Space Available

As Miami today leaves behind the ancient history of art and prepares for the bold uncharted now-ness of the tenth outrageous recurrence of another outlandish Art Basel Miami Beach fair, there is an air of rancid anticipation. Some would like us to regard fine art as a matter of life or death, but that is just not the case. Art may be perceived indispensable much of the time but it will never shed its frivolous nature. If a priceless painting is crashing down, get out of the way.

Hubble Bubble Trouble

Don't get me wrong. I am one of those who live, breath, eat, sleep, talk about and actually make art all twelve month of the year. But honestly the white gloves of a museum pale in seriousness when compared to the latex gloves of a hospital. A pricy Anish Kapur wall sculpture can also be seen as just a really fancy shaving mirror for the well heeled of golden beaches.

Full Moon Rising

A collection of distressed sports balls can take on the value of precious cultured pearls. Their epoxy luster drip with the rich new expression of what art is. What determines their shape is the secret nourishment of intention and purpose, of function and fact. Contemporary art is like the fad diets of south beach where a steady diet of deep art appreciation is the sustenance of champions.

Classy Kabuki

In light of the lust for celebrity and a willing submission to rigid social structure, our current cultural machinations border on farcical. The rule of vanities is that all to often it is really easy to find ample example of self imposed labeling and prescribed behaviourism. Who among us is saving their fifteen minutes of fame for just the right moment as timing is indeed everything.


To be fair, Miami is loaded with fascinating oddities and unique personalities in a constant stream of events. It takes a special kind of sleuthmanship to inform and archive our ongoing social mania trivia. Just ask the persistent and consistent folks at Soul of Miami.

Allas, a word or two,
A pan-headed screw,
Don't call us Cheapo,
Cause we shop at the Depot,
Economy of words,
Is not just for nerds,

Mystical and the Mister

Miami's own hieronymus bosch Franky Cruz and modern day bucky fuller Robert Chambers at Baxter's Book Party, Diet Gallery Wynwood.

Wish Upon a Star

A lovers kiss adorns Inflorescence. Available at Diet.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

september salad

Broccoli or Cauliflower ?

Destiny is a powerful thing. When Walt Disney met Salvador Dali in 1940, they hatched a joint venture to animate something. It took 50 years to complete the collaboration from storyboard to wikipedia entry.

Such is the the vicious complications that art and science invariably create by their mechanisms for change. Such is the ebb and flow of gentrification and cyclical ideas. Miami is no exception.

Harry Bedknob, Potter Broomstick

Be it by magic or slight of trickery, the power of art is undeniable. So what exactly is the best case scenario. Back in 1992 South Beach was a tolerable place, primed and percolating for another phantasmic transformation. Today not so much and suffice to say, "glad it is there" but we only go when clients call. Same can be said for Wynwood arts district, "glad it's there" but with crowds in the thousands on art walk nights, we only go when absolutely needed.

Cool is the New Provocation

More recently, when the personifications of Design District and Wynwood joined forces to advance this arts awakening, it took less than six years to see a fruition of noteworthy acclaim. The Goldmans, Rubells and Robins and Snitzers and Dorsches and Scholls, the Dade and Broward and Dumbos from coast to coast, it is not only the swamp that has morphed into a bona fide cultural mecca. Art Crawls are creeping into every town from middle america to Istanbul Turkey. Art along with the other distractions such as sports and hollywood, keep the masses insecure and preoccupied to the satisfaction of those behind the curtain of machinations.

But distractions can only sustain so long as cries for attention are muddled by jazzy flashy information. Two powerful pieces at Primary Flight typify the times. They are the above canvas of surprising depictions in a most unusual style and this drawing of a rose-encrusted icon. Powerful works that supplant the power process for the hungry artists and bewildered patrons.

Boots on the ground, Big Brother Big Sister of greater Miami joined with several artist and the Design District family to raise awareness of the need to support our youth. The event called Currently Under Improvement focuses on the betterment of community and the responsibility art has to social relevance.

Sag-a-delic Chic

The third cousin of art and science is Fashion. So when two swampy luminaries join forces you fashionistas are sure to take it to the club the bank and down the runway. Nektar De Stagni and Danny Santiago Vintage Market in the Design District.

TED Down Under

Super proud and congrats to the fellas at Coral Morphologic for their findings and melding of art and science. Collin and Jarred are two very swampy superstars.


Curious George Sanchez Calderon is at it again with his unique vision of the swamp. His artist run venue Tomorrowland featured the video works of illusive and illuminating Daniel Newman. Other shows will follow through the end of Basel 2012.

Goldie Guy David Rohn performance and installations are like an outrageous fairy tale gone swampy at the hypnotic Carol Jazzar Contemporary in Miami Shores.

Rockin n Rolling with Meatball. Hold on to your bladder as Robert Lorie blows them out of the swamp with a powerful landscape paintings and comical inflatable installation at the Little River Yacht Club.

October will be the last quiet normal month before dear swamp is once again slimed by Art Basel and the ridiculousness of the season. Who will be crowned the most beautiful, Dali or Disney?