Photo by Elvis Ramirez
A painting by Mitch O'Connell at the Harold Golen Gallery

First Wynwood Art Walk of 2008

Click here to view a slideshow of the Wynwood Art Walk.

After a fire burned most of Harold Golen’s gallery to the ground in December, he relocated temporarily to a warehouse on NW 24th Street. He decided to continue all the shows he had scheduled at the warehouse.

“It was either this or be around the house, depressed and thinking [about the gallery],” Golen said. The showing, part of the Wynwood Art Crawl, entitled “Live! Nude! $6 T Bones!” featured the work of Derek Yaniger, Mitch O’Connell, and Kirsten Easthorpe.

Anyone passing by would have thought that the art on display was nothing but cartoons. The subject matter of the paintings, however, was far from your Saturday morning cartoon shows. One painting by O’Connell, for example, featured the return of Jesus and everyone running in fear juxtaposed with a drawing of a cute rabbit.

“I like drawing goofy things,” said O’Connell. “Sometimes I’ll draw something and add meaning to it later.”

O’Connell said that he draws in the style that he does because it’s something he likes to do. Even his cutesy art work leaves you wondering if there is something more sinister going on. You could find yourself staring at one piece of work that is just adorable animals, and still not be able to shake the feeling that there is something else lurking beneath the surface. I didn’t.

The David Castillo gallery featured the work of Aramis Gutierrez. The paintings towered over the people gathered. Most of the paintings stretched from the floor to the ceiling of the building. Gutierrez used a realistic style mixed with surreal images, creating a very eerie effect. The paintings looked like they could seriously injure anyone if they happened to fall.

Aside from the cartoony exhibition at Golen’s gallery, my favorite showing was Adam Helms’ Untitled Portrait at World Class boxing. The paintings are portraits of Che Guevara and “Bloody Bill” Anderson combined in different ways for varying effects. At first, I thought that the portraits were just portraits of Che but as a pamphlet by the door explains Helms combined the two different guerrilla leaders because they looked so much alike.

Golen’s gallery attracted a fairly good crowd, but because the warehouse was semi-hidden compared to the other galleries it didn’t attract as many people as it should have.

“I don’t expect, what happens, happens,” O’Connell said. -- Elvis Ramirez

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