Though I guess I could be considered part of the Miami art community, I almost never go to Artwalk in Wynwood. I’m usually busy Saturday nights, or I consider my rare downtime more valuable than bouncing from gallery to gallery, most of which probably wouldn’t exhibit anything I do. Photography is sort of underrepresented at Artwalk, but that’s for another rant.
So anyways, the rare times I go to it are last-minute call-ups like I did earlier tonight.
I got a text from my good friend Emi Guerra, he wanted to go out and cruise Artwalk and meet some of the Miami art community to tell them about his forthcoming UR1 Festival, the big music and art festival taking place on December 8th and 9th during Art Basel. The big announcement of the lineup is Monday, even though it has been leaked. So I won’t post it here since you can find it elsewhere..
But anyways, he wanted to go out and see the artists and art people. Makes sense if you are throwing an art-oriented festival. And, since I’m kinda in touch with these people (am I?) he invited me along.
So, I jumped into the 210 and zipped on down Biscayne to Wynwood.
Once I got to the area, what a bloody mission. Traffic was at a gridlocked standstill, and there were throngs of people out and about, to the point where Northwest 2nd Avenue was a pedestrian thoroughfare. I was supposed to meet Emi and his UR1 team at Wynwood Walls, and I ended up having to park about seven blocks away. I’m a healthy boy now so it’s no big deal, but it’s the principle. And I will not valet. The 210 isn’t an SLS or an E 63, but it’s my baby and no one except me and the crew at Masterclass Auto touches the steering wheel.
Some have called for the major streets of Wynwood to be closed off to automotive traffic during Artwalk. 100 percent, yes. Please. Do this. Commissioner Sarnoff, it’s your district (for now), make it happen. The cops have their hands full pushing vehicular and pedestrian traffic around, and it’s a complete cluster down there, and it actually hampers the enjoyment of Artwalk.
So yes, Artwalk has truly exploded into a Miami social phenomenon. We officially have an art scene here as far as I’m concerned. Go us.
However, I finally did get situated, and met Emi, along with UR1’s Jackie Richie, Emi’s assistant Andrea, Alex Martinez of Deepsleep, and a few other scene people I know at Wynwood Walls, which was “at capacty” and had this weird dining area with a velvet rope and such set up.
They gotta update the artwork there. It’s been the same since I last went to Artwalk (oddly enough with Emi’s brother, Eddy) over two years ago. I’ll paint a wall. It won’t be anything “arty”, but it will be something from my mind. I’ll mention it here even.
As I mentioned earlier, everyone was out in force. Now, was everyone into the art? Hardly. Most people “Artwalking” couldn’t tell you if that was a piece by Nagelbett or Britto. They are out for the social experience. Emi phrased it best when he said, “They are out for something to do, and it’s cheap to go to Artwalk. Shit is expensive these days…”
He hit the nail on the head. Shit is expensive these days. Dinner for two will run you $100 or more. A night out at a club, even Space, will run you $100 per person (drinks, cover, and so on) or more if you VIP it. Having fun costs money!
But not at Artwalk. The galleries often have cash bars and/or free (albeit low-quality) booze on hand. They usually arrange a sponsorship or something. And the food trucks are out in force, and the food is cheap, though I wouldn’t necessarily trust it. Yeah, the modern food trucks have all the amenities, but it’s still a food truck, ya know? We called ‘em the “roach coaches” back in Jersey. Note to food truck owners, I’m not saying that your food truck has roaches. If you’re that concerned about what I said, you probably have something to hide. Be confident in your product and people talking shit, like me, won’t affect your business. Let freedom ring.
But yes, anyways, people are out for Artwalk because it’s cheap, interesting, and there’s a good social dynamic. And the galleries and artists put up with it since it will get their works exposed to the five percent of the people who actually know their art and are in a position to do something about it.
And yes, please block off the streets. Artwalk is now truly a “phenomenon” and it needs to be handled properly. Our art scene is finally getting some worldwide respect, and it’d be a shame if logistical squabbles killed off a major component of it.
Maybe I should run for the City Commission and make Artwalk one of my campaign platforms…
Dan Vidal For District 2 Commissioner!
Sidebar: Yes, I’m aware the issues mentioned here are old. But these first few articles on my blog are kind of for SEO purposes, as well as stuff that is on my mind, regardless of when it happened. It’s my blog, after all.
Sidebar 2: Yes, this devolved into a rant. In a nutshell, I did have fun at Artwalk. The food truck area is a great concept. Get ‘em all in one place. Also, good seeing the Miami Car2Go people out…thanks for the T-shirt guys.