When you only have one night in Miami – and you’re there for work – you still want to make the most of it. And with the Paris Marathon just around the corner, I found that, in actual fact, the best way for me to do a lot was to run around. Literally.
As a fan of street and spray-can art, going to Wynwood Walls has been on my bucket-list for some time now. So as soon as I got to the hotel, with a podcast of an interview with Kevin James – the reason for my trip to Miami – loaded on my iPhone, I ran the 3 miles to the walls, and then spent another 2 and a half running from section to section, trying to soak it all in. There’s not really a natural path to follow to see it all, so I just weaved in between the streets, whenever I saw something that grabbed my attention, I’d follow it and go look at it up close. Google Art has this incredible street art programme where you can use Street View to look at pieces of art from all over the world, which is great for preservation too, but there’s nothing like seeing the tall, towering pieces in person.
There were a few I really wanted to see, the rest, outside the walls, occupying the surrounding area, I just wanted to stumble upon in whatever way I was meant to find them. Faith47, one of South Africa’s finest artists, most certainly as women go, has a few pieces up. One is from 2013, titled Multum in Parvo, that was actually the first piece I found, after taking a wrong turn – although I think in this context there was no such thing. It’s incredibly moving to see, and there is something about the scale of seeing an image like this on such a large canvass that really just shifts a whole lot of emotions inside.
She also has a smaller piece inside the Wynwood Walls complex, and this other beautiful piece I wish I had taken a better picture of. A collaboration with Alexis Dias titled Eros, it’s a magnificent meditation on sensuality, and if you look at the snake, it comes apart beneath the woman’s body. The detail, as always, it what makes it so striking.
Swoon is another one of my favourites, who first started out by placing her life-sized portraits of friends and family around NYC, and I also took in the Lady Pink piece – a treat given she is the only woman considered capable of competing with the guys back in the day when she used to paint subway trains in the early 80s.
Stumbled upon this familar face, and found out it was Nicholai Khan, who painted Madiba’s face for his Be Your Own Icon series. Unfortunately the part where Nelson Mandela’s hands are resting on his face has been tagged over.
Other familiar faces, or at least tags…
Dal East x2
And found a few new names to keep a look out for in the future…
like Miss Van
Mr D 1987