Mastermind 2012 Honorable Mention: Valeria Yamamoto

Miami New Times' Mastermind Awards honors the city's most inspiring creatives. This year, we received more than 150 submissions, which our staff narrowed to an elite group of 30. We'll be profiling our honorable mentions, and eventually the finalists, in the weeks to come. This year's three Mastermind Award winners will be announced March 8 at Artopia, our annual soiree celebrating Miami culture. For tickets and more information, visit the website.

Valeria Yamamoto

Valeria Yamamoto

Can you figure out why the big white cement blob is called "Rain"? At first glance, we couldn't either. Then we looked closely, and figured out that we were so busy admiring the smooth cement sculpture that we missed the representation of rain below it. The aluminum bars at the bottom look like rainfall, see?. That realization was the kind you get during a really great high from that medicinal stuff from Cali. Mind = blown.

Yamamoto, an artist with a killer last name, fell out of the womb in Buenos Aires and didn't come to Miami until 2001. She lived a steak-eating, leather-donning life as a graphic designer in B.A. until she came here and pursued her passion in sculpture.

Her website describes her work as "inspired by a study of organic forms found in the natural world, or as a reaction to her environment. Sometimes Yamamoto's abstract and ambiguous pieces seem to fuse the animal and plant kingdoms." After we perused (aka stalked her via) her Flickr photos, that description couldn't make more sense.

Valeria Yamamoto via flikr

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​This one in particular had our head spinning, and it wasn't because of the good stuff from Cali. Remember Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds ? This really brought it back for us -- in a good way. This mindfuck of still birds sitting on "power lines" is strangely soothing, no?

Yamamoto's work is trippy, to say the least, and in no way is that a complaint.

Honorable Mentions:

Jayme Gershen

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