Art Wynwood 2015 Focuses on the Homegrown

Categories: Art, Culture

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Courtesy of Art Wynwood
When the Art Wynwood Fair opens today, it will accomplish a milestone that Art Basel in Miami Beach has never managed to achieve.

That's because unlike Art Basel, this weekend's event will present a side-by-side showcase of our city's top galleries and artists under one roof. Art Wynwood will offer visitors a rare opportunity to experience the caliber of programming and talent that has elevated South Florida's visual arts community to the global stage.

In its fourth edition Art Wynwood will feature "SOLO Miami," a first-rate project that will present five of Miami's powerhouse galleries. Each of the galleries will feature solo exhibitions by some of the Magic City's leading artists.

See also: Purvis Young Exhibition Opens at Museum of Contemporary Art

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Purvis Young Exhibition Opens at Museum of Contemporary Art

Categories: Art

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Courtesy of MOCA
Untitled, by Purvis Young, mixed media.
Self-taught Overtown artist Purvis Young used little more than found objects and paint to craft his works, renowned for their rare ability to capture both hope and despair in the midst of urban strife and upheaval.

Finding patrons and fans like Bernard Davis (owner of the now-defunct Miami Museum of Modern Art), Lenny Kravitz, and Dan Aykroyd, among others, Young made an indelible mark on the city's artistic evolution.

Now, in honor of Black History Month, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in North Miami is launching a new exhibition: "Under the Bridge, Beyond the Beach and Above the Muck: The Art of Purvis Young." MOCA will kick off the display with a reception today.

See also: The Historic Lyric Theater Keeps It Local, Debuts Purvis Young Exhibition

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Try Dazzle Painting at the Wolfsonian's Upcoming Workshop

Categories: Art

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Courtesy of the Wolfsonian
The Wolfsonian, decked out in a dazzle painting mural by Michelle Weinberg.
Dazzle painting sounds like something little girls armed with glitter and rhinestones would do, but the concept actually refers to a fascinating system of design utilized by the Allies during World War I.

Artists painted high-contrast patterns and stripes on warships in an effort to make the targets less visible to enemies. The idea was that the bold, abstract patterns would play with the enemy's eye, making them unable to determine the distance between ship and horizon. Hence, "dazzling."

Whether it worked as a military technique is debatable, but artist Michelle Weinberg is bringing the intriguing idea back in a February 19 workshop where attendees will get to try their hand at the art form.

See also: The VONA/Voices Workshop, Founded by Junot Diaz, Relocates to Miami

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Paddy Johnson Schooled Locals on Net Art and the History of Blogging

Categories: Art

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Photo by Melissa DeMarziana
Would you call your Instagram feed art? Are the 140 characters you spin on Twitter poetry? According to Paddy Johnson, founder of Art F City and a featured speaker in the Miami Rail's Visiting Writers Program, these forms of blogging are analogous to art. Last week during her Knight Foundation sponsored lecture, Johnson expounded on her ideas about the interrelationship between the early web and contemporary art forms.

Back in the early days of the web, intrepid internet users (AKA nerds) would spend long spans venting about things they were passionate about, without paying any attention to how to commercialize their virtual products. In the same way, artists often produce work they're passionate about and then worry about the messy business of selling their art later.

See also: O, Miami Expands Into Publishing With Jai-Alai Books

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MasterMind 2015 Honorable Mention: Peter Hammar

Categories: Art, MasterMinds

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Courtesy of Peter Hammar
A painter, installation artist, and performance artist, Peter Hammar is a man of many talents. From winning the Art Takes Miami contest in 2013 to exhibiting at the Moore Building, ArtCenter South Florida, and even Scope Art Fair at Art Basel; Hammar's eclectic work has made its way into the far reaches of our city's scene.

Swedish-born and Miami schooled (he has a Master of Fine Arts from FIU), Hammar's work runs from performance pieces and installations to sculptures and video. He plays with neon and experiments with form; he breaks down boundaries and challenges the status quo -- even getting into a spat with the city over his idea to paint Port Miami's cranes hot pink.

For the second year in a row, Hammar has earned an Honorable Mention in the New Times Mastermind Awards. We spoke to the artist on his favorite piece of performance art, nomadism, and painting Perez Art Museum Miami.

See also: Artist Wants to Paint Port Miami's Cranes Pink, Controversy Ensues

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Art Critic Paddy Johnson Talks About GIFs and Web Art IRL

Categories: Art

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Photo by Marsha Owett
Paddy Johnson
You're an out-of-work 20-something with a graduate degree in fine arts, no career prospects, and a need to vent: What do you do? For Paddy Johnson, the solution was simple: Start a blog.

In 2005, Johnson launched the website ArtFagCity as a way to mostly vent about her subpar employers. AFC eventually found its voice as a vehicle for criticism from an art aficionado's point of view. It soon became a go-to site for artists and critics, and Johnson became an established voice in the community.

Tonight she'll give a talk on the progression of online writing and criticism (with special emphasis on the importance of GIFs) over the past several years. New Times sat down with Johnson to get the skinny on the latest trends in the art scene.

See also: Artist Tania Bruguera Is a Thorn in the Cuban Government's Side

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Artist Tania Bruguera Is a Thorn in the Cuban Government's Side

Categories: Art

Cuban authorities watch Tania Bruguera closely. They listen in on her phone conversations. They constantly tail her. "I can move around Havana, but I have a car following me everywhere I go," the curly-haired, 46-year-old artist says. "I know they are listening to my calls, because recently, during a phone conversation with a friend, I mentioned I was going to pass out fliers that the government might find alarming. Then, 20 minutes later, a government blogger wrote, 'Tania is on her way to distribute inflammatory leaflets here.'‚ÄČ"

Bruguera, who divides her time among Cuba, the United States, and France, became a celebrity this past December 30. Just two weeks after President Barack Obama announced an easing of restrictions on Cuban travel and finance, she was arrested for trying to stage an open-mike exhibit in Havana's Revolution Square. Her passport was confiscated, and she was ordered to remain on the island indefinitely.

Bruguera had planned to set up microphones that would allow Cubans to express their thoughts about the historic thaw between Havana and Washington.

See also: Cuban Artist Will Hold Public Performance Despite Government's Objection

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Knight Arts Challenge 2015 Kicked Off This Week at Gramps

Categories: Art, Culture, Stage

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Photo by Monica McGivern
Tuesday night in Wynwood, interested possible applicants, proud previous winners, and engaged Miamians gathered at Gramps for the Knight Arts Challenge Kickoff event, sponsored by Infraculture.

A major funding project of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Knight Arts Challenge awarded $2.29 million to 47 projects last year to help grow and improve the arts scene in South Florida.

See also: Knight Arts Challenge Winners Announced: Exile Books, Weird Miami, and More

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Too Late, Obama: Cuban Art Has Been Shown in Miami for Years

Categories: Art

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In Miami on April 22, 1988, Manuel Mendive's painting El Pavo Real was set on fire. The Cuban painter's work had been purchased at a fundraising auction for the Cuban Museum of Art and Culture, but its buyers weren't exactly art collectors. Rather, the winners of the auction were members of the Bay of Pigs 2506 Brigade, which paid $500, picked up the artwork, and marched out to the street. There they set Mendive's painting ablaze while the Cuban national anthem blared from a nearby radio.

Two weeks later, the museum was bombed by exile hardliners who claimed it was exhibiting artists sympathetic to the Castro regime. In June 1990, the museum was bombed a second time. More than a dozen trustees resigned and Miami commissioners voted to evict the museum, which never really recovered and dissolved in 1999. Its collection and archive were donated to the Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami.

These days, Ileana Fuentes, who served as the Cuban Museum's last director in 1995, insists the burning of Mendive's painting planted the seed for new ideas, opening artistic expression in Miami. "Today those protests and tirades against Cubans exhibiting or performing in Miami are ancient history," she says. She adds that although President Barack Obama's recent diplomatic thaw between Cuba and the United States might have heightened expectations for greater cultural exchange, the fact is that Cubans have been showing their work in the Magic City for years.

See also: Rent Debuts in Cuba, First Broadway Musical Staged In 50 Years

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Miami Filmmakers Denied Entry to Miami Tourism-Sponsored Sundance Event UPDATED

Categories: Art

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Photo via Joey Daoud's Facebook
Miami filmmakers are having a very good year. With movies screening at both Sundance and its indie counterpart, Slamdance, everyone seems to recognize that Miami has become a major hub for up-and-coming filmmakers. Everyone but the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, it seems.

Monday afternoon, Joey Daoud, coproducer of Papa Machete and co-creator of Dolphin Lover, shared a post on Facebook expressing his disappointment and disbelief that the Miami Lounge -- a space sponsored by the GMCVB -- wouldn't allow Miami filmmakers into the space. Daoud was accompanied by his cocreator of Dolphin Lover, Kareem Tabsch,Papa Machete co-executive producers and writers Jason Jeffers and Keisha Rae Witherspoon, and the film's director, Jon David Kane. Daoud's post went viral, and many local filmmakers commented on and tweeted the image, all expressing the same feeling: Miami doesn't care about locally made and produced films.

Rolando Aedo, GMCVB executive vice president/chief marketing officer, said there was no intention to offend anyone or do anything wrong. The organization, which has sponsored many local events for the industry, attended specifically on behalf of Miami filmmakers. "The whole purpose of our being there was to promote the film industry," Aedo says.

See also: City of Miami Breaks Ground on Film Studio

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