Congrats to the Mastermind 2014 Winners: Julian Yuri Rodriguez, Kevin Arrow and Otto Von Schirach

Categories: MasterMinds

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Photo by: Alex Markow
Kevin Arrow, Julian Yuri Rodriguez, and Otto Von Schirach pose next to Miami New Times Editor-in-Chief Chuck Strause.
Last night, a whole bunch of fun, creative types got together at the Coral Gables Museum despite the rain to honor our nine Mastermind 2014 finalists and see who might walk away from Miami New Times' Artopia celebration with a giant check for $1,000.

Well, the votes are in and the checks were handed out. We'd like to say big congratulations to this year's winners: young filmmaker Julian Yuri Rodriguez, artist Kevin Arrow, and music man Otto Von Schirach.

See Also: Mastermind 2014 Finalist: Kevin Arrow Catalogues Miami's Strange History Through Strange Things

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MasterMind 2014 Honorable Mention: Andrew Nigon

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Photo Courtesy primaryprojectspace.com
Miami New Times' Mastermind Awards honors the city's most inspiring creatives. This year, we received more than 100 submissions, which our staff narrowed to an elite group of 30. We'll be profiling those honorable mentions, and eventually the finalists, in the weeks to come. This year's three Mastermind Award winners will be announced February 28 at Artopia, our annual soiree celebrating Miami culture. For tickets and more information, visit the website.

"That's like trying to pick a favorite child," Andrew Nigon says when asked about his favorite installation. Born and raised in Rochester, Minn., Nigon received his MFA from the University of South Florida in 2011. He lives and works in Miami, producing sculpture and figurative works both large and small. Nigon's creations mesh religious iconography with a circus aesthetic, exploring the tension between two opposing metaphors and questioning the logic of established taboos. Through creation and repetitive deconstruction, the final product forms its own identity, often with stuff the kids can enjoy: Giraffes, balloons, and a stack of scary clowns.

See also: MasterMind 2014 Honorable Mention: Alma Leiva


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Masterminds 2014 Honorable Mention: Raphael Eja

Categories: MasterMinds

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"Armonium" by Raphael Eja
Miami New Times' Mastermind Awards honors the city's most inspiring creatives. This year, we received more than 100 submissions, which our staff narrowed to an elite group of 30. We'll be profiling those honorable mentions, and eventually the finalists, in the weeks to come. This year's three Mastermind Award winners will be announced February 27 at Artopia, our annual soiree celebrating Miami culture. For tickets and more information, visit the website.

Raphael Eja was born Eric Jacque Amsellem in Figeac, a small town at the geographic center of France known only for being the birthplace of the orientalist famous for publishing the first translation of the Rosetta Stone. But perhaps now it can claim Eja's artistry, which has taken him a great many leagues, as he aptly describes.

Trained as a sculptor, Eja showed work in his home country, taught art classes in Canada, and designed video games before he discovered vector-based artwork, a medium he now considers the future of art.

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MasterMind 2014 Honorable Mention: Alma Leiva

Categories: MasterMinds

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Courtesy of Alma Leiva
Celda #9
Miami New Times' Mastermind Awards honors the city's most inspiring creatives. This year, we received more than 100 submissions, which our staff narrowed to an elite group of 30. We'll be profiling those honorable mentions, and eventually the finalists, in the weeks to come. This year's three Mastermind Award winners will be announced February 27 at Artopia, our annual soiree celebrating Miami culture. For tickets and more information, visit the website.

Alma Leiva is no stranger to these pages. Last year, her work earned her a place among the MasterMind finalists, and her art has been featured in the New Times before that. It's no surprise when you consider the simultaneous subtlety and gravitas imbued by her work.

Leiva lived in one of Honduras' most violent cities, San Pedro Sula, until she was 13 and moved to Miami with her family. Her work explores the culture of conflict in her homeland and the effect it has on the innocence of those forced to endure the bloody realities of modern-day Honduras. As Leiva explains, "I do interdisciplinary work and I combine photography, video, and installation. It has to do with the coping mechanism among individuals who have to live under extreme violence and it's inspired by the current social situation in my native country and the way that the immigrant has to deal with those issues."

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Masterminds 2014 Honorable Mention: Dan Walker

Categories: MasterMinds

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via Robotmonkeys on instagram
Dan Walker's Recycled Creatures
Miami New Times' Mastermind Awards honors the city's most inspiring creatives. This year, we received more than 100 submissions, which our staff narrowed to an elite group of 30. We'll be profiling those honorable mentions, and eventually the finalists, in the weeks to come. This year's three Mastermind Award winners will be announced February 27 at Artopia, our annual soiree celebrating Miami culture. For tickets and more information, visit the website.

Robot Monkeys made of toys running wild in the streets. That would catch your attention, right?

Miami's Dan Walker knows that, and as the founder of the "Robot Monkey Sports Network, a collective dedicated to improving Robot Monkey/human relations and promoting the use of recycled material in art," he's at the forefront all things robot-monkey. We should all rest a bit easier with that knowledge.

Walker creates art using recycled materials, largely used and discarded toys, and in addition to exhibiting them - he's had shows in Miami, New York, and Vienna - he has a penchant for letting his creatures wander into the wild. During Art Basel, Walker had 10 of his monkeys hanging over NW Second Avenue between 28th Street and 21st Street. But, much to his dismay, his recycled menagerie was undone by the likes of collectors and city workers. According to Walker, though, "the Robot Monkeys shall always rise again."

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Artopia 2014: Limited-Time $12 Tickets via Voice Daily Deals

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Photo by Justin Namon/f90photography.com
This is from Artopia 2012. Doesn't it look like fun?
We here at Cultist are running around the editorial floor raving mad with preparations for the sixth annual Miami New Times Artopia celebration. Our yearly bash brings the brightest stars of the Miami art, fashion, music and performance scenes together for one fabulous night of decadence and entertainment.

Tickets are on sale now starting at $20 to $65, but we really, really want you to come. So, we're going to make you a deal. But you better act fast, because it only lasts for a week -- starting now.

It's a Voice Daily Deal, and you're benefitting from a 52-percent discount. In case you're bad at math, that means GA tickets for $12. We're pretty awesome like that.

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MasterMind 2014 Honorable Mention: Cat Del Buono

Categories: Art, MasterMinds

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Miami New Times' Mastermind Awards honors the city's most inspiring creatives. This year, we received more than 100 submissions, which our staff narrowed to an elite group of 30. We'll be profiling those honorable mentions, and eventually the finalists, in the weeks to come. This year's three Mastermind Award winners will be announced February 28 at Artopia, our annual soiree celebrating Miami culture. For tickets and more information, visit the website.

Filmmaker, artist, and talent manager Cat Del Buono began drawing and filming at an early age, making her first Super 8 film when she was 11 years old. She received a BA from Boston College, an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York, and attended the graduate film program at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. In addition to gallery showings around the world, she's received numerous awards, including Winner of the Baang & Burne New Works Grant, NYFA Strategic Opportunity Stipend, Best in Show at The Art Place Wynwood Miami, and the SVA Alumni Association award.

Del Buono now focuses on creating performance projects and video installations that include viewer interaction and challenge long-held gender and social norms. She hopes to encourage moving beyond society's obsession with beauty, especially its acceptance of plastic surgery. Del Buono uses inflated balloons and big candy lips in her videos to illustrate the practice's garish nature. She's got her work cut out for her in the Magic City.

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Masterminds 2014 Honorable Mention: Alejandro Santiago

Categories: MasterMinds

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Courtesy of Alejandro Santiago
Miami New Times' Mastermind Awards honors the city's most inspiring creatives. This year, we received more than 100 submissions, which our staff narrowed to an elite group of 30. We'll be profiling those honorable mentions, and eventually the finalists, in the weeks to come. This year's three Mastermind Award winners will be announced February 27 at Artopia, our annual soiree celebrating Miami culture. For tickets and more information, visit the website.

Alejandro Santiago's career has come a long way since his first job as a photographer with 311 as a fresh-faced 18 year old. He's had numerous accolades for his skill with a lens, including being named Lomographic Ambassador for Miami in 2000. His work has been printed in various magazines including Photo District News, The Globe & Mail, Now Magazine, and (yours truly) The Miami New Times, among others. And, he's been awarded Adorama's Best Shot of 2012 for his photo, "Crossing Queen's Quay".

Santiago, who studied digital design at Parson School of Design in New York, has a knack for capturing the realness of life, presenting you with images that are all at once intense, potent and elegant. His shots have an incredibly organic feel. They're spontaneous and yet characterized by an excellent sense for composition.

Nowadays, Santiago splits his times between Miami and Toronto, where his partner lives. While he may presently be freezing under several feet of snow and ice, his recent work has been focused on warmer climates, studying his Cuban roots with a array of portraits and street photography that can be found on his blog, Oyecuba.

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MasterMind 2014 Honorable Mention: Venessa Monokian

Categories: Art, MasterMinds

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Paula Pogranizky; courtesy of Vanessa Monokian
Miami New Times' Mastermind Awards honors the city's most inspiring creatives. This year, we received more than 100 submissions, which our staff narrowed to an elite group of 30. We'll be profiling those honorable mentions, and eventually the finalists, in the weeks to come. This year's three Mastermind Award winners will be announced February 27 at Artopia, our annual soiree celebrating Miami culture. For tickets and more information, visit the website.

Venessa Monokian takes pictures, but not in your ordinary point and shoot style. This artist must focus on the minor details and chop up some prints before she's satisfied. Her process is unique: after discarding the negative space, "I layer image upon image until a new composition emerges," she says.

Monokian's love for photography was sparked by inquisitiveness.

"I just became curious about it," she says, adding how she then began to take classes on how the camera works. and thus her "life-long obsession began." Her passion has since taken her on various journeys across the globe, but one of the most rewarding aspects of her photography is how she can take a piece of her home wherever she goes.

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MasterMind 2014 Honorable Mention: Amos

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Miami New Times' Mastermind Awards honors the city's most inspiring creatives. This year, we received more than 100 submissions, which our staff narrowed to an elite group of 30. We'll be profiling those honorable mentions, and eventually the finalists, in the weeks to come. This year's three Mastermind Award winners will be announced February 28 at Artopia, our annual soiree celebrating Miami culture. For tickets and more information, visit the website.

AMOS is a Miami native who launched his graffiti career in 1994. Starting his work on the streets, he eventually moved his graffiti on to freight trains. AMOS has left his mark all over the globe, from Paris and Costa Rica to Brazil and New York City. He's fused his style and experience with a fresh color palette to create a new retro-futuristic collection titled "The American Experiment," chock-full of vibrant patterns and busty duck ladies.

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