You've seen the shirt, now here's the truth: Yo Amo 305 are a Miami art collective doing great things for the culture of Miami.
They offer a yearlong artists residency program bringing Latin American street artists to Miami to create fine art for their gallery across the street from Panther Coffee. Every month, new artists fly in and have a gallery, a studio, an electric bike, and a place to stay. Then they premiere a show during Wynwood Art Walk, and sell limited edition prints to benefit charity.
The South Florida Ford-sponsored program is an integral community builder, and signals a artistically beneficial spending of corporate sponsorship money. This month Francisco "Pastel" Diaz, and "Elian" Chali of Argentina bring their distinct styles to canvas, sculpture, and installation work that's refreshing in theme and delivery.
The two guys who curate all the art are Andrew Antonaccio and Filio Galvez, the talented duo behind Dos Alas. Their solo show on industrialization was a hit at Gregg Sheinbaum gallery, and their portrait of Henry Flagler is currently on the wall of HistoryMiami for their street art exhibition. They have muralized large buildings all over Wynwood, including the monumental Hollywood-style cutout high above North Miami Ave.
Andrew, who is an expert in visual communications and designed the inside of the Burger & Beer Joint with owner Buzzy Sklar, says, "We are the ambassadors of South Florida. We started during Art Basel 2013, and have already brought eight international artists to Miami since then. South Florida Ford has always been there for us through their Fordistas program and it's been a tremendous art adventure."
Elian began as an illegal graffiti writer in his native Cordoba, Argentina. He has since gone on to travel and paint all over the world. He calls his work "abstract geometric." His interlocking shape and color experiments find balance in composition and detail in brush tools. He uses a toothbrush to make the scratchy lines. He says that there are not as many opportunities in his home country for artists as there are here, and he's so glad to have been invited. "It's been very good, a great space and moment for new ideas," he says.
Francisco "Pastel" Diaz is from Buenos Aires, but his family hails from the north of the country, called the Misiones Province. "There are strong Native roots there," he says, "bordering Brazil, and Paraguay, where a lot of native people live." The work he produced for this show centers around the icon of the arrowhead. "I'm using a style of details to show the arrowhead as a symbol of defense, power, and roots as a reflection on globalization and all these fucking city problems."
All the paintings in the gallery surround a collaborative piece with Elian depicting resin-cast arrowheads hanging from the ceilng by fishing line over an abstract laser cut shape in stark white.
As far as the residency goes, Pastel says, "It's been great to have the space to experiment with new materials, and have the time to make a large project come to life.
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The day after art walk, Dos Alas fly off to Italy to go paint murals, hit festivals, and make private sale work. But when they get back they'll have new artists from Puerto Rico to add to a roster that has brought in Axl Void, La Pandilla, and Jufe. Who knows what tomorrow may bring, but we look forward to finding out.
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