The walls of Miami's buildings are now covered in murals, created by artists who have returned to Miami on their annual rotation just in time for Art Basel. They invade our city like locusts -- albeit suave, good-looking locusts.
On any given Taco Tuesday this gang of sun-kissed, paint-speckled artists congregate at Wood Tavern, devouring free grub and looking the epitome of cool. They're decked in a prism of paint whimsically splattered across their thrift-store-chic rags, geometric tattoos, and starving-artist frame. A foreign accent (or really any talk about eastern Europe) will lure any young girl who watched Rent in middle school to be their muse.
Before you know it, they're whispering questions in your ear about your roommate situation and refer to you with some unspecific term of endearment, like babe. But it's too late; you're already sprawled across the bar's bathroom sink and your skirt is hiked up to your waist. They're smooth. Too smooth. Ladies of Art Basel, beware these bewitching bohemians.
These are the seven reasons you shouldn't hook up with a muralist during Basel this year, or really, ever. And whatever you do, don't look them in the eye.
Author's note: female muralists kick ass and do not apply to this post.
7. He has more Instagram followers than you.
If a guy has more followers than you --on any social media really but Instagram is the most shallow of them all-- ditch him. The relationship is doomed before it even started. No one can resist following a muralist on social media, because nothing breaks up a feed of grumpy cats and poached eggs quite like a selfie in front of one's own kaleidoscopic mural. People will recognize him in public and gawk at him like the pseudo-celebrity he thinks he actually is. You will feel insignificant in comparison. This is not a healthy relationship.
6. Paint fumes have permanently affected his personality.
In addition to all the Ecstasy he did in London or acid he dropped that time in Prague, inhaling the toxic chemicals from paint and spray cans over the years hasn't helped his already-delayed synapse reaction time. That's right; that surrealist text message was not his artistic process or even marijuana talking. It was the paint. It's always the paint.
5. You can't date a nomad.
Long-distance relationships are nice, but you're just as stupid as your paint-ingesting partner if you believe him when he says he'll stay true to you when leaves town for an impromptu art fair in Phoenix. (It was probably just the paint talking.) You know what they say: Where there's an empty abandoned wall, there's a muralist ready to paint it -- and a horde of skinny-jean babes just waiting to appreciate it.
Andrew Kong Knight/Flickr Commons
4. He will never buy you a drink.
Unless he's Banksy (and for all you know he could be), don't count on him ever buying you a drink when you're out at the bar. Forget pancakes in bed the next morning or even a sobering 4 a.m. Big Mac. On the financial scale, muralists rank somewhere between an unpaid intern and a panhandler in a wheelchair.
3. You can't take him anywhere, because he is constantly dripping in paint.
Constantly. Sure some of the paint will be dried, but some of it won't be. You risk destroying your outfit at every embrace. You'll end up leaving a towel in the passenger seat of your car from all the times you gave him a ride to his shack in Miami Gardens. STDs spread fast, but wet paint spreads even faster, and it's harder to get rid of (especially on leather car seats).
Oliver Herold/Wikimedia Commons
2. All the time in the sun has unfairly aged him.
This one isn't his fault, but it's still true. On the upside, all the time spent in the sun carrying tubs of paint up ladders has given your muralist the tan and physique of an weathered older gentleman (think hippie George Clooney). But behind those freckles and crow's feet is probably an immature 23-year-old trapped in the body of a hot 44-year-old. Right now he's at his peak; the sun has aged him like a fine wine or cheese. But it's just a matter of time before he crinkles into a raisin and people will confuse him for your grandfather.
1. Your likeness may and will be used against you in a court of wall.
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Sure everything will start like star-crossed lovers (and if he's around the paint long enough, he might even start speaking in iambic pentameter). But if you thought hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, you surely never met a muralist scorned. Forget revenge porn; a 50-foot mural dedicated to your love handles will go up in your dishonor if things end sour. One day you're just that girl that eats a lot of free tacos on Taco Tuesday, and the next you're that girl whose tampon string is depicted on some famously architected parking garage. Well played, muralist, well played.
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