Wynwood Walls, Graffiti and Murals in Miami
A true form of magic exist in Miami unlike any other city. It’s innovative transformation has attracted visitors from all parts of the world to experience it’s captivating beach landscape and its artistic renaissance. One point of interest that has changed the way we experience Miami and its ever changing art scene is The Wynwood Walls. But before we get too ahead of ourselves, first lets talk a little about the history of the Wynwood murals that created the fame for this small neighborhood we call Wynwood.
Wynwood has been dubbed the Art Mecca of the world and with good reason. Within just the course of a few years it transformed itself from a collection of derelict warehouses to one of the top tourist attractions in Miami.. Today, Wynwood houses over 2,000 different murals, graffiti and street art that range over a 9 block radius and want to know the most interesting part of it all is? Wynwood is a revolving door for international artists that continues to change its artistic landscape year after year. And the artists fly in from all parts of the world from France and Berlin to Mexico and Peru. Each artist ranging in artistic style, vision and skill. But who are the ones that started it all? Well the answer is not so simple but lets start with Primary Flight.
In 2007, Primary Flight invited 35 graffiti artists to participate in the first open air art exhibition taking over many walls in the area. In 2008, they expanded to over 80 artists and in 2009 to over 150 artists forever changing the small neighborhood into the art mecca that it is today. However, it was not Primary Flight alone that changed the imaginative landscape of Wynwood. For decades Miami had the reputation of attracting thousands of art collectors, galleries and artists through its world known art fair Art Basel that takes place every year during the first week of December known as Miami Art Week. With many satellite art fairs opening up during Miami Art Week, Miami was attracting art enthusiasts, major brands and big time art collectors ready to spend a week on the sandy beaches while splurging on world class art. It was only natural for a collective of artists and galleries to take part in the action to attract attention to their artworks.
Wynwood became a living organism, cultivating growth within the artist community and more galleries moved into the area hoping to get a slice of the pie. The revitalization was taking place and every creative entity in the world was starting to take notice. One of those creative entities was our own. Formed in 2009, Chrome Art Gallery opened its doors and brought together local artists pushing the art scene into new realms. Live shows, live painting and projected art shows took place over the course of 3 years. Later in 2012, we opened Viophilia as an artistic sanctuary for artists that sought studio space to create and exhibit their latest works. We curated art murals throughout the area and continued in the creative tradition that gave Wynwood its name.
Cue, Tony Goldman. An art enthusiast and real estate developer with enough funds to completely change the face of the small neighborhood into a world class experience. He created outdoor spaces, fusion restaurants and persuaded the city to allow for 20 bar and restaurant permits in the neighborhood. Goldman, along with a few other developers, was originally one of the developers of Soho New York and Ocean Drive in Miami. Tony knew a thing or two about how to develop an area that embraces art and architecture all while merging the need for interactive environments. He created The Wynwood Walls, an outdoor garden space with walls that tower over visitors allowing them to experience art as if they were looking at large art canvases. It is one the the largest curated outdoor exhibitions to date.
Fast forward 10 years and here we are.
Wynwood now attracts top brands like Ducati, Gucci and a plethora of bars and restaurants paying high costs just to be part of the art. The neighborhood that was once a tiny thread in the fabric of Miami became the creative model for many cities across the United States. Its ever changing artistic landscape continues to attract world known artists, art enthusiasts and collectors forever changing the way we experience art. Wynwood must be the only place in the world that can offer an interchangeable outdoor exhibit that showcases the best talent while allowing visitors to partake in in a truly unique outdoor experience that is the Wynwood Walls.
We embraced the evolution of the neighborhood, its adaptive nature that give the momentum to creativity in all forms and in return we got truly unique outdoor museum that pushed the bounds of creativity leaving all those who experience it forever changed.
Copyright: Ivette Cabrera 2017
Photo: Courtesy of WynwoodMiami.com