DIY:MIA, a non-profit organization driven by creative expression, held an art show on Saturday at the Miami International University of Art and Design. It’s interesting to note however, that the University itself does charge over $40,000 for it’s students to express themselves creatively and sequentially throws those students out into the real world with a degree that is going to earn them an average of half what they originally paid for it. Isn’t this the corporate exploitation that most artists protest about? Are you following the irony in this situation? Either way those poor browbeaten students had some indescribable talent.
As I entered the blood sucking university, I began to notice that most of the art on display had an urban theme, which was exemplified by the neo-soul, hip-hop, and trip-hop that DJ King Jeremy the Wicked was spinning. His choice of music included artists that try to invoke socially conscious thought through their songs, like Wu-Tang Clan, Mos Def, DMX, and Erykah Badu. Amy Johnson, the organizer of the event, said that the university actually lent them the space.
Johnson also said that several artists were not students, and were rather from outside the U.S. Some of the artists that were present, included Yves Laroque, Frank Ukraine, John Garcia, Laz Llanez and this guy named Ryan the Wheelbarrow. Ryan takes regular looking clothes, usually from American Apparel and Thrift Stores, screen paints over them with word clippings and turns them into these funky urban masterpieces. A few minutes later I spoke with Gustavo Oviedo, the artist responsible for a piece entitled “False Advertising.” He said that his contribution included a series of ad clippings that basically portray how society is brainwashed through marketing techniques.
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These artists were definitely steering away from superficiality to dig into something deeper. Another artist named George Rubiera, composed a video clip entitled “Graffiti for Turkey,” in which three graffiti artists received two deep fried turkeys as payment for a mural they had painted. Luis Ortega said that his piece, which took up a whole wall, was derived from various elements of his usual graffiti style. Neranjan Venom also supplied the gallery with a video clip named “About a Mouse,” which was introduced with the words, “You are Watching Nothing,” and resembled a moving Rorschach test. At first I thought it looked like a bunch of vaginas, but then he explained that his intention was to describe how an individual has to give up a part of him or herself, in order to be part of society. He said that society is like the rat eating away at the mouse who only wants to be accepted. I then felt bad for muttering the vagina comment. -- Lucy Orozco