Miami Marine Stadium Renovation Moving Forward, Invites Famed Graffiti Artist Stinkfish

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All photos by Travis Cohen
Miami has her fair share of graffiti haunts and paint-saturated penits where local and traveling bombers alike have decorated streets for decades. Few are as iconic, though, as Miami Marine Stadium.

Declared structurally unsound after the widespread devastation of hurricane Andrew, the abandoned stadium has been "off-limits" for nearly a quarter of a century. But graffiti loves a challenge, and "off-limits" means "perfect hangout" for fence hoppers, midnight drinkers, restless youth, skaters, and most obviously, taggers.

Now, the stadium is on its way to a new life thanks to the Friends of Miami Marine Stadium. The group plans to renovate and reopen the venue, and that's expensive -- $30 million expensive.

One of their first prospective means of fundraising is to sell a series of pieces by renowned and respected graffiti artists, both foreign and domestic. The first of these was recently completed by Bogotá artist Stinkfish, and we got a chance to watch as he did his thing on a perfectly sunny albeit windy day on the Biscayne Bay.

See also: Miami Marine Stadium Restoration Plans Approved

Stinkfish is an incredibly cool guy. The prototypical ultra-chill Colombian, he's easy-going, soft-spoken, grounded, and thoroughly likable. His increased exposure has done nothing to cull what got him where he is today, which is simply the joy he finds in painting.

"I started 11 years ago, in 2003," he explained. "I had this group that we started, just to do little things, just for fun. Everybody starts doing this for fun in the street, and it became bigger, and bigger, and bigger. We became an important group in my city. Then we split, and I began working by myself and with other friends. One thing leads to another."

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He's come a long way, but Stinkfish has a firm appreciation for working in his hometown.

"You always know where you can go out and paint without a hassle in your city and where the best walls to work are," he said.

But traveling takes a man to far off places where he can see so much. Stinkfish has developed a strong fondness for traveling and working abroad, and he takes something new from ever venture.

"My first time traveling outside Colombia was in 2007," he noted. "I went to Mexico, and it was really important for me because I know my city and I really like it, but when you travel to other places, you get the chance to see a lot of people and different techniques and styles. When I travel, I'm mostly focused on the work, looking for spots to paint, looking for people to work with. I think, for me, it's best to travel all the time. In the last two years, I've traveled a lot."

Before painting, Stinkfish explained that the portrait at the stadium would be of a Nepalese girl he saw while on a recent visit to the country. Almost all of his pieces start with a candid photograph of an anonymous stranger on some street. He fleshes out the stencil of the portrait as the focal point, then proceeds to paint freehand lines and shapes that radiate from the stranger's face. The tapproach yields a beautiful combination of stripped-down photo-realism and brightly-colored abstraction.

Location Info

Map

Miami Marine Stadium

3601 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne, FL

Category: General


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6 comments
Stephanie Vento
Stephanie Vento

I was there when he was painting, pretty awesome. It looks like it's open for public

Edward Delatorre
Edward Delatorre

They going to keep it named after Ralph M. Munroe? I hope so.

Hermann Wiehls
Hermann Wiehls

Joe Tumbo, Cesar Ramirez, y'all should get in on that. Teajay, I'd like to go out there and shoot, any problems getting in?

Craig Oneil
Craig Oneil

They have and I don't believe anyone is taking money from Miami residents for their.

Cary Gonzalez
Cary Gonzalez

Why don't the Estefans and Jimmy Buffett (who are behind this project) dip into their massive fortunes before they start fleecing Miami residents for this?

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