Swampspace's Oliver Sanchez on Collaborating with Art Stars: "I Was Creating Architecture to House the Paintings"

Categories: Art

Karli Evans
Oliver Sanchez: "Growing up, there was not a hammer in my house, but I loved building things."
In 2006, Oliver Sanchez transformed the implausible into reality. "I tarred and feathered a classic Rolls-Royce Corniche convertible," the unpretentious and soft-spoken 55-year-old Cuban-American recalls. "The hardest part of the job was finding the right type of feathers, but we finally settled on goose down after going through a bunch of samples ranging from plain chicken feathers to the more exotic and ornate."

Sanchez defiled the Rolls for a Wynwood exhibition by two Scandinavian artists, Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, who aimed to erect a monument to art-world avarice. In the years since, he has become the go-to guy for making artists' visions a reality. He has created works for big-time locals such as Daniel Arsham, Bert Rodriguez, Naomi Fisher, Bhakti Baxter, and Typoe, as well as established international names.

No one would have predicted Sanchez would play such an important role in the art world. Three weeks after he was born in Camagüey, Cuba, dictator Fulgencio Batista's soldiers executed his father. When he was 9, he moved to Miami with his mother, Martha, and older brother Adolfo. "I grew up in a house about ten blocks from here," the artist recollects as he sits at a small table covered with playing cards and dominoes inside his new studio at North Miami Avenue and NW 39th Street. The place also houses Swampspace, the alt-haven Sanchez founded nearly a decade ago to showcase emerging and underrepresented artists.

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Miami Artist AholSniffsGlue Sues American Eagle Outfitters for Intellectual Property Infringement

Giulo Sciorio
AholSniffsGlue is one of the Magic City's quintessential street artists who is widely known for his trademark droopy eyes that keep watch over Wynwood at NW 27th Street and for more than a decade have peered down on I-95 traffic outside of the Margulies Collection.

So when American Eagle Outfitters descended on Wynwood earlier this year to package its 2014 spring break advertising with a distinct urban vibe, it became besotted by the local artist's attention-grabbing imagery.

The company, which earned more than $3 billion last year, boasts 1,000-plus stores around the world, and ships to customers in 81 countries, began using Ahol's work on its webpage, social media sites, billboards, and in-store displays as part of a sweeping international blitz to shape its brand identity and sell its product.

The problem, according to a lawsuit filed by Ahol, is that American Eagle never sought the artist's authorization or compensated him for plastering his work on its ads.

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Puppy Mugs: Miami Artist Mxytsplyk Could Paint Your Pet as an Ironic Scarface

Categories: Art

This could be your dog
Your dog could be immortalized as Tony Montana in oil on canvas by a mysterious Edgewater artist called Mxytsplyk.

His new "Puppy Mugs," a commissioned work series of ironic pet portraits, are coming soon to a son of a bitch near you.

We caught up with the talented paintrepreneur to find out how he came up with the concept, why pets are better than people, and how to get your very own mutt in a space suit.

See also: MXYTSPLYK Street Art Posters Are Suddenly All Over Wynwood

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Wynwood Green & Art Market to Offer Affordable Food, Inclusivity to Area Residents

Categories: Art

Courtesy of Bakehouse Art Complex
In parts of Wynwood, residents face what's known as a "food desert," meaning an area where affordable, nutritious food is difficult to obtain. As the neighborhood's rapidly gentrifies, few solutions have been offered to this very real problem.

But the Wynwood Green & Art Market at Bakehouse Art Complex will serve as the proverbial oasis in the desert. The idea was recently named one of the winners of The Miami Foundation's Public Space Challenge, and a sprawling marketplace on the complex's 2.3 acres of land is on its way to implementation.

See also: Colony1 Eco-Friendly Community to Build Sustainable "Living Building" in Wynwood

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New Works From First Wave of Cuban-Exile Artists at Fort Lauderdale's Museum of Art

Categories: Art

Artwork by Pablo Cano
Cano's La Sebastiana, 1983.
In 1983, nine Cuban exile artists came together and exhibited their works in a show called "The Miami Generation." They didn't know it then, but despite the contrasts in their artistic styles and influences, that show at the now-defunct Cuban Museum of Arts and Culture in Miami would bind them together more than 30 years later.

Nova Southeastern University's Museum of Art|Fort Lauderdale opened "The Miami Generation: Revisited" on July 12 with works presented from the earlier show and new pieces created over the years since. Three artists -- Fernando Garcia, Juan González, and Carlos Maciá -- have since passed away, but the remaining six -- Mario Bencomo, María Brito, Humberto Calzada, Pablo Cano, Emilio Falero, and César Trasobares -- are still, fortunately, full-time working artists.

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Knight Arts Challenge Finalist ArtCenter Aims to Take Art to the Seas with ARTsail

Categories: Art

Courtesy of Maria del Valle

Each year, the Knight Foundation calls on the bevy of creatives in South Florida to submit an idea they think will benefit the arts. And each year, a group of finalists are selected from a deep pool of talent.

Seventy-five finalists were chosen this year from over 1,000 submissions, and among the lucky honorees is ArtCenter/South Florida, whose proposal aims to send an artist on a month-long residency aboard a boat.

For ArtCenter/South Florida, it's all about water. "Miami is surrounded by water," says Executive Director Maria del Valle, adding how the closeness to the ocean is likely a determining factor for people who move down to Miami.

See also: Knight Arts Challenge South Florida 2014 Finalists Announced

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Leonel Matheu Weaves a Spell on Viewers at the Frost Art Museum

Categories: Around Town, Art

Courtesy of Dot Fifty-one Gallery | Frost Art Museum
Leonel Matheu in front of video installation.
Much like Aesop, the ancient Greek storyteller, Leonel Matheu is a fabulist of the first order whose vivid imagery combines an everyman figure with animals and nature to caution against materialism, greed, and man's destructive encroachment on the environment.

"Crossroads of the Dystopia," a new exhibit at the Frost Art Museum, marks Matheu's first major museum survey and corrals 20 years of his oeuvre, featuring a collection of more than 70 works ranging from drawings with colored pencils, ink on paper, oil on canvases, public art installations, video and multimedia installations.

The sprawling exhibit is presented by Wynwood's Dot Fifty-One Gallery, which reps the artist locally, and was curated by El Nuevo critic Janet Batet who's deft eye has delivered a seamless impression of Matheu's most distinctive imagery.

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Miami Art Museums Alliance: A Unified Voice for Miami's Art Scene

Categories: Around Town, Art

Vanessa Martin
PAMM and six other Miami museums have joined forces as MAMA.
Slowly but surely, Miami's getting there. We can be quite critical of a lot of the downright Flori-duh stuff that happens within the Magic City; from shortsighted politicking to local yokels, we have no shortage of the strange, the bizarre, and the downright counterproductive preventing this city from becoming a compelling destination beyond whatever cocaine cowboy/Miami Vice-era appeal South Beach tries to retain. The building blocks are there.

Thankfully, the directors of seven of Miami's art museums have come together and formed the Miami Art Museums Alliance (MAMA), and as any doting parent would, have sought to unify their efforts fomenting art and aim to ensure that the arts continue to thrive in South Florida. Comprised of the Bass Museum, the Frost Art Museum-FIU, the Lowe Art Museum-UM, the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA), the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and the Wolfsonian-FIU, the alliance's number one objective is contributing to our community's success.

Working together, towards a common goal is a great start in making this city great. We had a chance to ask Terry Schechter, MAMA's executive director about their forming and goals.

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Adbombing Billboard Project to Launch at Bardot Thursday

Categories: Art

via @adbombing
Artist Mark T. Smith imagines the future of Adbombing.
Tired of seeing lame billboards on your way to work every day? So is Josh Stutt, the mind behind a project to turn some of Miami's most visible advertising spaces into giant canvases for local artists.

Adbombing aims to buy ad space in the Magic City's hottest markets and use that space to feature 305 creatives. But it can't do it without a financial boost. So it's launching an Indiegogo campaign this Thursday with a party at Bardot.

See also: Adbombing: A Crowdfunded Project to Feature Miami Artists on Local Billboards

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Analog Art Returns With a Vinyl Art Showcase in Little Haiti

Categories: Art, Culture

Courtesy of Yuval Ofir
'Simian and Garfunkel' by Robert Jimenez
Art has never been confined to canvas alone. Just ask those brave souls who first painted on cave walls, or the guys who designed those street chickens on Calle Ocho. (Oh yeah, they are in the same category, for sure.)

Art happens wherever it wants. That's one of the main forces behind the second annual Analog Art showcase happening Saturday at Yo Space in Little Haiti. Using vinyl records as their canvases, over 40 artists are expected to present their best work.

See also: Analog Art Show: The Fusion of Art, Music, and Community

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