In honor of our People Issue, which will hit newsstands and computer screens November 25, Cultist proudly presents "100 Creatives," where we feature Miami's cultural superheroes in random order. Have suggestions for future profiles? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the whos and whys.
85. Antonia Wright
The daughter of well-known author Carolina Garcia-Aguilera, artist Antonia Wright grew up surrounded by books. Her mom bought Wright her first poetry books at age 12, which included the works of Edna St. Vincent Millay and Anne Sexton. After studying creative writing in college, then going to New School in New York for an M.F.A. in poetry, she discovered that she'd rather speak her thousand words with a photograph. She went on to study at the International Center of Photography, has worked for noted photographers Clyde Butcher and Patrick Demarchelier, and shot images for the ever-so-hip Vice Magazine.
Even after traveling the world, Wright is still a Miami kid at heart. She lives on the Beach, has a studio at the Art Center on Lincoln Road, and has work on display at the Margulies Collection.The fact that Antonia is a photographer with the soul of a poet shows through in her work. Her images leave a lasting impression. "I love playing with social structure and bringing the art-making process into the public realm. I am doing a project now where I go into the street and cry and document how no one stops to ask me if I am okay." The fruits of this labor of love and exploration of the human condition culminate in the series "Are You Ok?" which will be on display at the Spinello Gallery during Art Basel. Find Antonia on Facebook.
Courtesy of Antonia Wright "They Say Beijing is the New Paris.'
1. List five things that inspire you.
My favorite thing to do in the world is travel and see art. This summer I went to Bilbao just to see the museum and Pamplona to see the bulls and act like Hemingway. I love writing at A La Folie, a little French cafe on Española, drinking tons of coffee, reading. I could sit there all day, everyday. The writer Paul Auster told Sophie Calle to "cultivate a space" and I think that is the place I have chosen.
2. What was your last big project?
Last week, I was an artist in the fundraiser, Heart Happening, at the Margulies Collection. It was amazing. I created an interactive installation called Once Upon a Time There Was a Living Bed (below). I made a bed with a heart beating in the middle. I walked visitors in one by one, had them lay on the heartbeat while I read them a bedtime children's story. I wanted to create a very peaceful place for the visitors while still playing with their expectations. I also organized laughing parties with laughter flash mods throughout the night. Everyone was laughing; it was pure art.
3. What's your next big project?
I am working on a project now where I go to different Quinceañera photo studios and have my portrait taken as a Quinceañera. It is unbelievable. They airbrush me before and the photograph after. This genre of portrait photography has such a strong aesthetic and Miami has one of the largest Quinceañera photo studio businesses in the world. Often times the girls have their portrait taken and never even have the party--the vanity, 'the coming of age aspect, the performative element on my part and the girls, all really draw me to this series.
4. Why do you do what you do?
I do what I do because I cannot imagine doing anything else. I've always created. I love noticing the world--highlighting the bizarre within the everyday facade of normal situations. And it is really fun.
5. What's something you want Miami to know about you? What's something you don't want Miami to know about you?
I really love to collaborate. If you have any ideas, get in touch with me.
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87. Christy Gast
88. Gustavo Matamoros
89. Shareen Rubiera-Sarwar
90. Kyle Trowbridge
91. Clifton Childree
92. Jessica Gross
93. Danny Brito
94. Nektar de Stagni
95. Anthony Spinello
96. Vanessa Garcia
97. Justin Long
98. Rosie Herrera
99. Rick Falcon