Wynwood Awakes // ART BASEL Miami ’16 / Dispatch 1

The gallerists and merchants have begun arriving in the South Beach area of Miami to uncrate the art they’ve shipped for the enormous Art Basel and the assorted satellite fairs of Art Basel Miami 2016. Across the Venetian Way heading inland and minutes to the north you see that artist have already been painting on walls in the Wynwood neighborhood.

Fluke from Canada at work on his mural in Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

First adorned by an entirely organic graffiti and Street Art scene in the late 90s and early 2000s, the low-income neighborhood with a light-manufacturing base has been transformed by real estate and economic development. Now after a decade of inviting local and international artistic talent to come and paint, the Wynwood area of Miami is a beacon of mural art that showcases this moment in its evolution.

Fluke from Canada at work on his mural in Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Urban Nation (UN) returns this year as well, having worked with many of these artists who will be getting up throughout Wynwood, and BSA is on the streets here with you to see the action as it unfolds with exhibitions, shows, and possibly a party or two. While Wynwood events certainly popped up in the shadow of the annual Art Basel exhibition, art fair patrons and a modicum of celebrity have made the pilgrimage here in greater numbers every year for some urban decay realness, now sprinkled with glitter.

It is no surprise that many of these same artists are now featured in the art fairs as well, represented by new and established galleries and hired by lifestyle brands and moneyed corporations to carry their messages. It’s a heady mix of power, rebellion, politics, aesthetics, and aerosol; and sometimes it is a pure revelation to see the transformations, given the anti-establishment undercurrents that have run through graffiti and the more socio-political activist elements of Street Art throughout the last half-century.

Fluke from Canada at work on his mural in Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

On a sunny Sunday afternoon in the 70s (23.5 in celcius), minutes away from the sand and the ocean, this grit is just getting stirred up again, and the aerosol fumes are already wafting through the blocks that are now looking less run-down, and decidedly under development.

West Coast based mural magician and philosopher Chor Boogie, with his protective air mask perched like mini-horns atop his head, smiles and welcomes a visitor happily because this time is just before the flood, before the sidewalks are thick with ipad-photographers and selfie-takers and fans of all sorts.

With moving vans and ladders and boxes of cans being unpacked, this neighborhood is clearly gearing up for a party again, and many artists have already laid down line work to play alongside pieces that have survived previous years. As the events unfold we’ll keep you apprised of the ones we trip into.

It could just be us, but does this look like Al Pacino to you? Greece’s INO in Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Chor Boogie at work on his tribute mural for his mother. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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Chor Boogie at work on his tribute mural for his mother. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

D*Face from a previous edition of Art Basel. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

CERO from a previous edition of Art Basel. This mural was made with tiles and mosaics. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

CERO from a previous edition of Art Basel. Detail. This mural was made with tiles and mosaics. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

CERO from a previous edition of Art Basel. Detail. This mural was made with tiles and mosaics. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Dasic Fernandez from last year edition of Mana Urban Arts Project X Bushwick Collective at Art Basel. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Sipros from last year edition of Mana Urban Arts Project X Bushwick Collective at Art Basel. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Mateo. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This Herakut mural was executed in 2o12 and it is still in a remarkable condition. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Herakut. Detail. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

MSK. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

TCP. Wynwood, Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

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This article is the result of a partnership with BSA and Urban Nation (UN).

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