to open on November 26, has been a work of art
shrouded in secrecy; so much so that although we were granted access
inside to speak with artist Christian Awe about the pieces he
was hired to create for the restaurant's dining room, we weren't
The space is contemporary, minimalist,
and a palate of grays -- from the exposed cement floors to the gun metal
grey booths and chairs. So the vibrancy of Awe's 20' by 7'
abstract piece, titled "All Life Comes From the Sea. Only
Graffiti Comes From the Streets," hits you. There are pale blue and midnight blue layers, smooth streaks of white, and touches of green
on the east wall. None of the three pieces are overwhelming. "I wanted to make the guests feel
welcome... free to associate," Awe says.
Properties asked if Awe could come to Miami for a meeting. Goldman showed Awe the space. "It was hard to imagine,"
he says, "while looking at the empty warehouse" (that would
become WKB). It took Awe almost six months to create the paintings.
"Art is often used as a decoration.
Here, it's a partner. Goldman gave me artistic freedom. You have to
have a lot of trust and faith in someone to do that," said Awe.
He brought a touch of graffiti to the canvas, on a contemporary
level, along with stencils and color that add much contrast. On the
west wall, "Miami Sunsets/ Creativity Begins" is symbolic
of graffiti artists coming out at night to work. "You can see
many details in the paintings," said Awe, as he pointed at
figures in the artwork.
Awe applied upwards of fifteen layers of spray paint and acrylic,
scratching out areas to reveal such findings in his "diary"
as an ex-girlfriend's earring or grandma's glove. He offers an
analogy, saying, "Looking into my paintings is like looking into
a sky full of moving clouds." Different people are going to see
Christian Awe working on the paintings for WKB in his studio
photo by Robert Whitman
There's a non-alcoholic
cocktail on WKB's beverage menu named after Awe, a non-drinker. It
includes peach juice, lime, fresh raspberries, mint, and the option
of a splash of champagne for the alcoholic version. Chef Marco
Ferraro aptly told Awe that his paintings are an interpretation
of the way he cooks. That extension of art from the kitchen to the walls make WKB's dining room an unique artistic domain.
Wynwood Kitchen & Bar is open for
lunch and dinner Monday to Saturday, 11am - midnight; bar open
until 1am. WKB will be open on Sunday, December 3, at the same hours,
to accommodate Art Basel crowds. Ample street parking. Valet
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2550 N.W. 2nd Avenue, Miami