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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MasterMind 2014 Honorable Mention: Alex Nuñez

Categories: Art, MasterMinds

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Photos courtesy of Alex Nuñez
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.

For Miami-bred artist Alex Nuñez, the world is her giant canvas and her creations are mere portals into other, wild realms. Though Nuñez has lived and studied in Florence, Barcelona, New Orleans, Boston, and even New York City, she still has Miami on her mind. The artist sees her artwork as a way to pay homage to her home city, and her Cuban-American roots are a constant source of inspiration.

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MasterMinds 2014 Honorable Mention: Michael Malka

Categories: Art, MasterMinds

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Courtesy of Michael Malka
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.

Michael Malka is a Miami man, born and raised. From shooting hidden locales like the shuttered RC Cola plant, to capturing the brilliance of Mother Nature via the Everglades, this photographer's lens has captured a lot of the 305.

From black & white to color splashed to distorted images, his striking imagery comes in many incarnations.

"I try to go out and show everyone what's out there -- through my eyes," Malka says.

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MasterMind 2014 Honorable Mention: Yesenia Lima

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Photo Courtesy: YeseniaLima.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.

Miami-born Yesenia Lima is a filmmaker and writer currently pursuing an M.F.A. in entrepreneurial digital cinema at the University of Central Florida. Raised by Cuban immigrants, Lima's work is an ongoing study to discover what the Latin American identity means to herself and others. Her feature-length micro-budget film, "MIAmi" tells the story of four Miami natives living in different neighborhoods of the city. The film strives to show a more realistic portrait of a city that, as Lima puts it, is as hard to define as it is to live in for the average inhabitant.

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MasterMind 2014 Honorable Mention: Jessica Farr

Categories: Art, MasterMinds

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Photos courtesy of Jessica Farr
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.

Comedy is an art, and though we might celebrate those actors who excel in dramatic works, making people laugh ain't easy. And if you're a bombshell broad, forgedaboudit! But it's funny (and hot) ladies like Jessica Farr who show the world that women in comedy are a serious thing.

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MasterMind 2014 Honorable Mention: Gonzalo Fuenmayor

Categories: Art, MasterMinds

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Photos courtesy of Gonzalo Fuenmayor
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.

Bananas. The long, yellow fruit with a suggestive shape is making a comeback in the art world thanks to Gonzalo Fuenmayor. Once made popular by Andy Warhol with his pop-art movement, the potassium-filled fruit holds a special place in the images created by this photographer.

A native of Barranquilla, Colombia, Fuenmayor has lived in Miami for over six years (and in the states for about 15 years) but his roots continue to inspire his work.

"As a Colombian artist living in the United States for over a decade, I once felt the responsibility to make art that commented on the social events happening back at home. Feeling detached from the tacit burden to address drugs and violence, I started drawing bananas instead," he says. What came about after that is a collection of images part of his Papare Series that tell a story so layered, and yet so beautiful.

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MasterMinds 2014 Honorable Mention: Peter Hammar

Categories: Art, MasterMinds

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Photo by Robert Figueroa
Miami New Times' Mastermind Awards, presented by the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, honors the city's most inspiring creatives. This year, we received over 100 submissions, which our staff narrowed to an elite group of 30. We'll be profiling our 20 honorable mentions, and eventually our 10 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 presented by the Miracle Mile Downtown Coral Gables. For tickets, visit the website.

There aren't many global locales more diametrically opposed to Miami than Sweden. Snowy, mountainous, utterly Anglo-Saxon -- in many ways, it's the opposite of our sultry Latin city. But that's part of why Swedish-born artist Peter Hammar is so enamored with the 305.

In 2013, Hammar was the grand prize winner of the Art Takes Miami contest, which granted him a solo exhibition at Scope Art Fair during Basel.

He got the news while boarding a plane to Sweden. He had to uncheck his bag and hurry back to Miami Beach, but considers it well worth it. "It was a great show," he says.

Originally into painting, Hammar quickly moved into installation work, citing the ability to tell a broader story through the use of objects and space. His pieces often incorporate thematic elements related to time and nostalgia.

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