Oye, Miami, the Bird Road Art Walk is back again, and you're invited to eat, drink, and, tour the working studios of Miami's Southwest artists. Luis Fuentes will be there with his studio door open at 4229 SW 75th Avenue. He calls his fusion of bright colors, sense of movement, 3d paintings, and paper-mache sculptures "radical art." This month he premieres a show called Carnaval Groove, a tribute to Calle Ocho's street party, and Latin culture in Miami.
Fuentes operates one of the twenty-five or so studios that make up the Bird Road Art District. Every third Saturday of the month from 7-10p.m. the warehouse area comes to life with a moonlight tour. We spoke to Fuentes about paper mache, Cuban coffee, and custom bikes. Here's what he had to say.
Luis Fuentes on "Bad News," his custom 76' Harley Shovel Head with Miami Herald gas tank.
Cultist: What can we expect from the upcoming Bird Road Art Walk?
Luis Fuentes: I got a new piece called Twisted Café. It's a big Cuban coffee pot. I incorporate every level my Latin culture. Paper Mache is...there's something very Cuban, very Latin, about it. Everything I do has a lot of Miami influence. My sculptures even use all Miami newspapers. I've got papers dated all the way back to the 30s bro, waiting for projects.
How long have you been working in this type of sculpture?
Since Jr High. I've been doing it ever since I was 14, but showing and making pieces for sale for the last 4 years.
What's up with that Bad News bike?
The bike's a 76' Shovel Head, and the tank is wrapped in an actual July 4, 1976 Miami Herald. I call it Bad News.
How does custom car and cycle culture relate to your work?
My friend Pablo Rodriguez, he's pretty well known in the car community down here for his Old School Customs. We've been working together since we were kids, painting and restoring cars and motorcycles, and I try to bring that into my work.
What's your relationship to the Bird Road Art District?
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That's the area I grew up in, we used to swim in that lake, Twin Lake, back there, and when I saw that studio, I said, "This is where I gotta start. Right here."
See Luis' "Radical Art" at the Bird Road Art District (BRAD) Walk, this and every third Saturday of the month. Click here for the group's facebook page and log on to ArtByLuis.com for more info on the artist.