Best Public Art Miami 2013 - Johnny Robles' CIFO Mural
1018 N. Miami Ave.
Miami, FL 33136
The first thing most visitors to CIFO notice is a sweeping exterior mural of tropical foliage composed of more than a million one-inch glass tiles. It's dazzling, but miss out on Johnny Robles' massive, block-size freestyle piece on an adjacent wall at your own risk. Created in partnership between CIFO and Primary Flights in 2011, Robles' wall-swallowing opus on NW Tenth Street depicts the tremulous balance between urban development and South Florida's vibrant environment. Robles employs a luminous tropical palette to create abstract imagery of children playing in mangroves amid flamingos, porpoises, and tortoises. The painting appears to defy gravity as the images melt beneath a baking sun and flow toward the earth below to "begin a new cycle of life," Robles says. The artist found inspiration for his painting from childhood memories of playing outdoors in the Sunshine State, unlike a new generation of urban kids hypnotized by technology. If you can't put down your iPhone and head for the Glades, at least check out Robles' work.