Now that Art Basel is over, the week-long art fair has left behind some open air work, free from the confines a stuffy museum. Though beautiful, it's not necessarily easy to navigate.
Street art, my friends, is a wonderful thing. And we're lucky to have an area like Wynwood whose walls are overtaken and recreated almost constantly -- especially in December. But what exactly is the history behind the murals, work that often goes up in the cover of darkness? Who are the faceless artists who leave their work exposed to the elements?
While we stumble by the walls, Margery Gordon of Arts Encounters stops, stares, and researches. On Saturday, Gordon will share her knowledge on street art and lead a walking mural tour of the gentrified neighborhood.
Gordon is a longtime journalist, art critic, and tour-guide, so you'll be in capable hands. To prepare for this Saturday's tour, she explains how she did tireless research that involved previewing some of the artwork during Miami Art Week, being in touch with the commissioning companies, and even using the local WynwoodMaps.com site run by Robert de los Rios.
When Cultist spoke with Gordon over the phone, she was out surveying the area, prepping her steps and seeing for the first time some completed murals she had only before seen as a work-in-progress. "I'm always looking out for the new creations," she said, "but I like to include some favorite murals along with local landmarks into the tour."
The walking tour of Wynwood will start at Panther Coffee on the corner of NW 2nd Ave. and 24th St. and cover the area from 22nd to 27th street.
One of the stops on the tour will include stepping through the brass barricade and into the Wynwood Walls, where Gordon is looking forward to seeing the latest piece by street artist Swoon. "She's one of the most recognized street artists...I've seen her work in museums, so I'm excited to see her piece on the Walls."
Other artists that Gordon will feature during her tour are Danny "Krave" Fila, Herakut (made up of the German couple Jasmin Siddiqui and Falk Lehmann), Shepard Fairey, and "I'll definitely be showing some Ahol Sniffs Glue," she added with a lighthearted laugh.
With all the legal news surrounding Ahol and his signature bubble-eyes, Gordon commented on the importance of the case and her hope that it will make waves in the art world, which is why it's important to show people the original work of street artists like Ahol, she added.
"I always like to give people a sense that street art was in Wynwood way before the galleries started to pop up. People were out there tagging and painting the walls for years -- decades really -- and I like to give people a sense of that."
Gordon plans about two tours per month that are open to the public as well as leads private tours. She will also be leading a tour around the Design District on Saturday, January 10th. Follow Gordon on Twitter @artsencounters for updates.
The Wynwood Walking Tour will take place on Saturday, December 20th, with a central meeting point at Panther Coffee (2390 NW 2nd Ave., Miami) at 12 p.m. noon. Cost is $35 to be a part of the guided tour. RSVP by Friday, December 19th to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Margery Gordon at 305-989-0027. Tour will last until about 3 p.m. with a break for lunch at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar (paid separately).
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