Art on 'da West Side

Every December, the global art world transcends on Miami for the largest conglomerate of contemporary art fairs in the hemisphere. Spawned by Switzerland's Art Basel back in 2002, Miami was selected as the destination to be the nexus of North and South America. Fast forward 11 years and all (world) eyes on Miami. I call it the Olympics of the global art scene. If you're not familiar with the magnitude of this event, just as a city preps for the Olympics, Miami preps each year for Art Basel and the numerous art fairs that ride its global fame. Infrastructure is literally built, the roads and highways are beautified, hotels are expanded and renovated all in preparation of over 50,000 visitors annually. I am a true Miami Urbanite and ~ as with any urbanite ~ I bask in the glory and claim all bragging rights when it comes to the ever-growing cultural fabric and overall "cool" factor of my city. Art Basel itself is held in Miami Beach along with its billionaire clientele.  On 'da west side of the causeway, however, is where the real social scene happens - the Design District, Midtown and…the edgy, sexy, damn-near-orgasmic Wynwood. I feel the energy in the air, the traffic intensifying and I'm telling my friends to catch me if you can, well, in Wynwood. Where Art Rules In and Out As recent as 5 years ago, Wynwood was that neighborhood you wouldn't even drive through.  The buildings were basic warehouse boxes with no apparent architectural appeal.  In 2009, they were claimed as prime canvases for graffiti masterpieces and so the story began.  The tremendous growth of graffiti - this intense art on walls - in the past few years is both inspiring and exciting.  Galleries, cafes, bars, music, fashion and the like inhabit the spaces behind the walls and Wynwood is now known as THE place.IMG_6856-640x279 My personal journey with art takes me to this place where I find myself looking for a piece that may conjure a certain feeling, meaning or perhaps memory.  I toured Wynwood today and nostalgia sets in as I remember seeing random “tags” by a childhood friend and there it is, I got the feeling, meaning and memory all at the same time.  By the way, it's legal to tag buildings in Wynwood - with the owner's permission, of course. ;-)area-icon-wynwood-walls-640x279 Only weeks prior to the 5 Pointz whitewash in Queens last month, was created as an interactive website to capture this street art that is transient in nature.   Kudos to (my) Miami for defining an entire neighborhood to celebrate this art form and not treat it as something to be cleaned up.  For us Miami urbanites, the map will serve as an ongoing archive for this art comes and goes.  That's the irony of graffiti - unless you're a Haring, Banksy or the likes - you can enjoy it but you can't take it with you.img_4 (2)-640x279 I hope to see you out and about this week - somewhere around NW 2nd Avenue between NW 22 Street and 28th Street to be exact.  As I tell my friends, catch me if you can! ~Another All Things Taj img_4-640x279 img_7-640x279 img_5-640x279 IMG_0040-640x279

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