Miami New Times' Mastermind Awards honors the city's most inspiring creatives. As we approach Artopia, our annual arts soiree where we'll announce the three Mastermind winners March 8, we're profiling each of our nine 2012 finalists. For tickets and more information about Artopia, visit the website.
One could easily claim that no other visual artist is representing the Big Mango with as much attention-commanding presence as Mayer has during the past year and a half. Her collaborative video Scenic Jogging was one of 25 chosen from 23,000 submissions from 91 countries for the Guggenheim's YouTube Play: A Biennial of Creative Video in October of 2010.
Mayer, who is a native of our city, has her finger firmly on its pulse and wouldn't trade these climes for a bigger stage.
"Miami is hyper-sexualized and sensationalized, it leaves intense aesthetic and psychological scars on any reasonable person who grows up here," observes the artist. "To me, the only thing that ends up seeming reasonable among the madness is realizing that it's all entertainment," says Mayer whose reach beyond the 305 is extending by the day.
Since then her terrifyingly hilarious 60-second video I Am Your Grandma went viral on the Internet -- notching 1.5 million views to date -- while her short, The Life and Freaky Times of Uncle Luke -- starring iconic rapper, 2 Live Crew frontman, and New Times columnist Luther Campbell -- recently debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, where it earned raves.
"Going to Utah with Uncle Luke was pretty surreal," recollects Mayer. "Mainly because he went as Morpheus from The Matrix," she adds mentioning that it was one of the stranger experiences of a whirlwind year.
The artist, who was weaned on a smorgasbord of sitcoms, says they later influenced her work.
"I was heavily influenced by Space Ghost Coast to Coast, The Simpsons, Full House, Fresh Prince of Bel-Aire. I watched way too much television in my formative years."
Not one to collect dust on her laurels, Mayer is also collaborating on a project this month with Eric Cade Schoenborn at the Bass Museum called "Erasey Page" and will participate in the "Aesthetics and Values" show at the Frost Museum, also this month.
"Erasey Page is a technological interactive website which aids users in finding a more clear life, off of the Internet," Mayer told us when we tracked her down this week at Pitzer College in Los Angeles where she was lecturing about art and the Internet.
"Regionalism is also a really amazing theme in many films that are coming from younger independent film-maker collaborations," Mayer mentions. "If everyone moves to the same city, then the scenery will be boring and repetitive. The Internet makes everyone accessible and relative regardless what city one chooses to live in. Also, I love living under Miami's incredible nature and temperate islands," she says.
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The Project [theatre]
Jonathan David Kane
Eddy "Earthtone" Vegas
Bannavis Andrew Sribyata
Sarah Kontoff Baker