Paint, Protest, Party // BSA X ART BASEL Miami ’16 / Dispatch 5

~ Steven P. Harrington and Jaime Rojo ~

Scope! The verb, not the art fair.

We will be hitting SCOPE shortly but in the interim we’ve been scoping for action or trouble; trolling around the streets of Wynwood and other selected odd locations to find Street Artists actively brush-painting, aerosol painting, markering, stenciling, wheat-pasting, even tying some wires and ribbons around fences. The walls and murals and the scene is transforming in front of your eyes here, with photographers, videographers, and drones all flying around to capture the action as it progresses.

Bob from The London Police working at their mural for the new Goldman offices in Wynwood, Miami. Wynwood Walls 2016 /Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

This neighborhood is an art fair, without the attitude. Well, maybe there is attitude occasionally on display as well.

Also, political speech was pushing through the carousing beer swilling, late-sipping, burrito chomping streets yesterday with a 50 person troop of protesters with home made signs addressing the massive oil pipeline that is routed through sacred land of Native Americans in North Dakota and a pipeline planned to go through Florida.

Oil pipelines protest in Wynwood. (photo © Steven P. Harrington)

We followed them for a few blocks, listening to chants about water and hegemony and found that for many art/party fans it was a curiosity to see citizens demonstrating, and a few bystanders took the fluorescent green flyers offered and said thanks, while others took photos and naturally, selfies with the marchers.

Just one more element to add to your sense of cognitive dissonance.

Pichi & Avo. Work in progress. Wynwood Walls 2016 / Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Night time in the Wynwood District is a chaotic grimy glittery mix of high and low and middle in the neighborhood as well – where you are as likely to catch a whiff of a models’ perfume as she sashays past you in a backless silver mini dress with her 3 leggy friends flipping their long hair over their shoulders as you are to catch a whiff of sweet ganga smoke from the joint of an open-shirted, low-waisted Romeo in dreadlocks or one the acrid whiff of the rumpled grayish clothing worn by the guy who is sitting on a chair against a mural and is ready to spend another night laying on the sidewalk after you stumble back to your hotel.

Pichi & Avo. Detail. Wynwood Walls 2016 / Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

An ongoing slothful and bloated and thumping network of car-minivan-limo-Escalade-motorcycle traffic is rolling into a mechanical Ambian lethargy, at times looking more like a parking lot or tailgating party, grid-locking and popping and actively cruising the options parading down the sidewalks, with windows open and music pumping.

With no police at intersections to ease the flow of this jamtastic scene, low-bubbling rage mixes with cologne and produces slick insults hurled at the guy whose car is blocking the traffic flow, or more importantly, your flow. The song of the night wafting through the air on one corner, perhaps because a bicycle would be a perfect solution here, is called Bicycleta.

Luckily for us, we are usually on foot and not afraid to walk to find the good stuff. That is the best way to experience the street and the various events and to catch artists at work. Enjoy a few scenes from the day and one from the evening in Wynwood in Miami.

Ron English touching up his mural from a previous edition of Wynwood Walls. Wynwood Walls 2016 / Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Ken Hiratsuka. Wynwood Walls 2016 / Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Case Maclaim. Detail. Work in progress. Wynwood Walls 2016 / Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shepard Fairey. Work in progress for Mana Urban Arts Project. Wynwood / Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Shepard Fairey. Work in progress for Mana Urban Arts Project. Wynwood / Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Insa and Drew Merritt. Work in progress. This will be an augmented reality wall which the public will be able to appreciate on Saturday with an app. Wynwood / Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Low Bros. Perfecting ones’ curtsy to the Queen comes in handy while painting on a wall. Wynwood / Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Obey, people! Or not, its up to you. Wynwood / Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Artist Talk at the new Goldman art gallery with Martha Cooper, Crash, Tristan Eaton, Faith47 and Pixel Pancho. Moderated by Steven P. Harrington of BSA. Wynwood Walls 2016 / Art Basel. Miami. (photo © Jaime Rojo)

Pichi & Avo at the Hard Rock Stadium for Goldman Global Arts

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