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Art Wynwood 2015's VIP Preview Featured Local and International Artists

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Last night in Midtown, the VIP Preview kicked off the 2015 edition of Art Wynwood, the baby sister to Art Miami that features over 70 galleries from around the world. Collectors, artists, and anyone lucky enough to get a ticket to the exclusive event packed the tent at 3101 NE First Ave., looking for the hottest artists in modern international art. Young artists from throughout Latin America, and more than a few works centered on Miami are the focal point of this year's expo, though plenty of pieces from artists like Damien Hirst, Botero, and Keith Herring will keep the novice visitor occupied.

Miami is well-represented at this year's show, with the majority of the northern end of the tent comprised of local galleries. Wynwood's own Robert Fontaine Gallery makes a great starting point for the extensive showcase. He featured a solid collection of Warhol, Rauschenberg, and Banksy to whet the appetite.

Other galleries, like Art Lexing, Irazoqui, and the Wynwood Art Group deliver a wide variety of media, from sculpture to oil paintings and a good amount of artist Hamilton Aguiar's massive recreations of famous works by artists like Jeff Koonz, Damien Hirst, and others. Mr. 305 himself, Pitbull, also shows up at the Kavachnina Contemporary space at the front of the tent.

See also: Purvis Young Exhibition Opens at Museum of Contemporary Art

One of the more notable collections in the show comes from the Waterhouse & Dodd Gallery out of New York, showcasing artist Jean François Rauzier's photo collages of the numerous Wynwood Walls. Massive 58-by-98-inch murals collect the many walls throughout the neighborhood in what might best be compared to a photograph of Brazil's notorious favelas. Smaller, 34-by-34-inch panels are available, too, individually or as a series of five. Even if you're not buying, seeing the local walls collected and put together as a cohesive piece gives the works even more power.

Perfectly timed with recent developments in relations with Cuba, a good deal of Cuban art, both contemporary and modern, is on display. Surrealist Wilfredo Lam is the main focus of Coral Gables' Cernuda gallery's collection. Contemporary artists like Irina Elén González, Roberto Fabelo, and a handful of others round out the heavy Cuban section, located towards the middle of the pavilion.

At the southeast corner of the pavilion, an interactive children's area, featuring painting supplies, tables, and plenty of easels will be open daily. One main bar and café sits at the center of the room, and another next to the children's area, both offering wine, beer, and non-alcoholic drinks, as well as a sampling of lighter fare from Spuntino Catering, Salumería 104, and Midtown Oyster Bar. Prices for food float between $8 and $12, with drinks starting at $3 for sodas, on up to $15 for cocktails.

Art Wynwood runs until February 16, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, 6 p.m. on Monday, February 16. One-day passes are $25 for adults, $15 for students 12 to 18 and seniors over 62. For more information, or to purchase tickets, head to artwynwood.com.

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