Bye-bye, Britto! One of the consequences of the renovations to the Miami Dolphins' Sun Life Stadium that hadn't previously occurred to us is that the Romero Britto murals on the stadium's signature spring-shaped walking ramps would be no more. Dolphins CEO Tom Garfinkel tweeted out photos of workers painting over the candy-colored creations as part of the renovation process.
Britto, perhaps more of a businessman selling his aesthetic to anyone or any company with a check than an actual artist, remains highly controversial in Miami-Dade. For every Miamian that finds his neo-pop art charming, there's another who finds his work's omnipresence in the county embarrassing.
We've pretty much said all we need to about the guy's work, but at best the Britto backlash is a downside of the dude's own success. At worst it's because he's seen as an artist who long ago lost any sense of integrity.
When Stephen Ross became the Fins' majority owner in 200,8 he decided to give the stadium and the gameday experience a makeover chock-full of Miami clichés. Celebrities were brought in as minority co-owners. T-Pain re-recorded the team's fight song. Orange carpets were rolled out for VIPs at the games. Nightclubs were installed in the stadiums. To top it all off, Britto was brought in to repaint major portions of the stadium's exterior.
None of that seemed to have worked in reigniting strong attendance, and the refurbishments to the stadium will go a long way in erasing some of those mistakes.
What Sun Life stadium used to look like in all of its Britto glory.
Photo by Ed Webster | Flickr, CC2.0
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The stadium makeover will stick to a clean teal-and-white aesthetic, and is being carried out in stages so as not to interfere with football season. Painting over those Britto murals and installing new teal seating are all part of phase one. The Dolphins begin play in less than two months. The entire makeover is scheduled to be completed by the start of the 2017 season.
Britto's work still remains on display to the public in several places throughout Miami-Dade. He's a favorite of developers who want to add some visual knick-knacks to their property, but perhaps this is a sign that his work is finally going out of fashion.