Many say Miami lacks substance, and that the only culture we have runs as deep as a street puddle on a summer day. But those people haven't been surfing the recent waves of gallery parties and art-anchored events. Thank goodness for these shindigs, because it only takes one fine fiesta to get hipsters around here acting like they value intellectualism and creativity.
On November 8 there was the Wynwood Art District Gallery Walk, an open-house frolic among nine galleries just south of the DeDis. Rocket Projects, OBJEX Art Space, and others supplied alcohol and music, while the attendees provided art appreciation. True. At Damien B. Art Center, French multimedia maven Damien B. hosted Arte Del Barrio in conjunction with the Walk. There was a real family atmosphere kicking. Some young parents brought their kids, and old folks were dancing. But that was almost disrupted when I was running around with local artist and all-around freak Jon "Wiggy" Riesco. He continually shoved me into a pair of innocent little girls standing nearby. Why? He wanted a reason to apologize, on my behalf, to their milfy mother. Unfortunately for Jon, "Do you want me to beat his ass?" is not a good pickup line to peace-loving granola gals.
The following Friday the leading org (i.e. group) for artsy one-off soirees, Gen Art, hosted I Love Miami, which featured an exhibition of T-shirts (adorned with original art) and photography by Meg Pukel, typeStereo/Miami Crew, Bhakti Baxter, Gorilla Tactiks, and many more. It was on the site of the future Quantum high-rise condominiums (developers are using art to attract business!?). A smorgasbord of types attended: Sophisticats (agent David Lombardi), Poplifers (Barbara Basti), underground artists (Serum), and over-the-top personalities (Chibe B. Free), all of whom are connected by the shining light that is publicist Cece Feinberg.
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At the Gen Art show I had an enlightening conversation with my favorite hometown radical, Beta Bodega Coalition's Steven Castro, and atmospheric rapper, Seth Schere a.k.a. Brimstone 127, about starving children, corporate media, and the FTAA. "Bad, all bad," they agreed. Highlight of the night: Ashley Fantz, a reporter for some daily newspaper, apologized for not including my affiliation with this very weekly in a recent interview. No problem, Ashley. A hot blonde can get away with just about anything, so I'm letting you slide.