Best City Mural - 2007
Adam and Eve
Call Miami the Mural City. From the charming collaborative We're in the Same Boat created in 2001 by senior citizens of Haitian and Cuban descent, with help from Coral Park Senior High students serving as translators, and from artist Xavier Cortada in Coconut Grove, to the realistic and powerful Martin Luther King Jr. in Liberty City, to many others, this place lacks not for walls of art. The beauty on an office building on the west side of Biscayne Boulevard at NE 37th Street is lesser known but no less compelling: Adam and Eve shows an Africanized male and female painted in the style of paleolithic fertility figures with large hips, curvey torsos, and small heads. Created by highly regarded local urban artist Daniel Fila, a 26-year-old who's better known as Krave, this work replaced his 2003 Erin, also known as "Booty" or "The Big Butt." Erin featured a rear view and struck a chord during Art Basel 2003. Some criminal painted over it, so Krave came up with the frontal view of a couple in its place. New Times reported last year that the woman whose image inspired both Erin and Adam and Eve was upset by the art, accusing Fila of appropriating her own work and of oversexualizing it. (The two went to art college together in Ohio, where, apparently, no one mentioned that paleolithic fertility figures tend to have a sexual aspect.) The upper left and lower right corners of the wall are adorned with colorful cascading psychedelic abstractions that perfectly center and spotlight the dynamic duo. As with the best of Impressionism, the work is striking both at a distance and up close, the latter view revealing the piece's stunning intricacy and precision. In fact the whole area is artsy beneath I-195, a wall is painted with black and brown "foliage" (a 2004 rendering by Saá) and even the pillars of the underpass feature large brown and black dots. This is the way to make (fine) art in a public place.