MasterMind 2013 Finalists: Bleeding Palm

Miami New Times' MasterMind Awards honors the city's most inspiring creatives. This week, we're profiling the 10 finalists, selected by our staff from over 100 submissions, who are in the running to receive one of three 2013 MasterMind awards, each of which comes with a fat $1,000 check. This year's MasterMind Award winners will be announced Thursday, February 28, at Artopia, our annual soiree celebrating Miami culture. For tickets and more information, visit the website.

Warning: Seizure-prone readers should be wary of Bleeding Palm. Their loss. The art collective's psychedelic animated GIFs, websites, and photography mashups are garishly bright, flashy, and utterly unique. Just like Miami.

Bleeding Palm offers a dose of whimsy in an art world that takes itself too seriously. "I think it comes from the question of 'What if?' " explains Ronnie Rivera, a 32-year-old member of the collective. "Like joking around with friends and just joking around in my own head. What if this was like this? Then taking the next step and actually doing that -- that kind of drives me."

The quartet, comprising Rivera, Christina Felisgrau, and "two secret members," was formed in 2010 with the goal of creating a photo chronicle of Miami's music and art scene. Over time, their work has evolved into a fun, satirical look at the 305.

But their oeuvre isn't simply a collection of jokes. Bleeding Palm takes typical Miami experiences -- club scenes, late-night escapades, raucous concerts -- and reframes them in surreal yet fitting contexts. A mid-set female drummer might grow wings and a She-Ra-style headband. Blood rain might be on the forecast in the Everglades.

Or Chris Bosh might wield a magic sword to slay an evil Internet temptress. That's exactly what happens in the group's short animated film for the Borscht Film Festival, Adventures of Christopher Bosh in the Multiverse, a romp through space and time starring the Miami Heat forward. Bosh and the NBA both threatened legal action for unauthorized use of his likeness. But Bleeding Palm isn't backing down. They're waiting for an appropriate time to release the short, regardless of legal threats.

Bleeding Palm often collaborates with other artists. In addition to its work with Borscht, the collective has also collaborated with Coral Morphologic, and Rivera is currently busy with creative projects for Gloria and Emilio Estefan.

"It's a very supportive community," Rivera says. "I've always heard that art communities are very closed off and walled off, and I don't ever get that feeling when I'm hanging out with other artists in Miami. I feel like everyone is trying to invite everyone into things."

With Bleeding Palm working on various music and animation projects, what are the chances of a Bosh sequel? "It's only gonna happen if he's gonna be in it," Rivera laughs.

Hey, in the multiverse, anything is possible.

2013 MasterMind Award Finalists:

Alma Leiva

Andrew Hevia

Antonia Wright

Bleeding Palm

2013 MasterMind Award Honorable Mentions:

Kevin Arrow

Pioneer Winter

The Overthrow

The Gutter Film Series

Daniel Reskin

Manny Prieres

Nate Delinois

Reed van Brunschot

Bookleggers Public Library

Ruben Ubiera

I'm Not Gonna Move To LA

Magnus Sigurdarson

Autumn Casey

Andrew "Zig" Leipzig

Brookhart Jonquil

JeanPaul Mallozzi

Kyle Trowbridge

Farley Aguilar


Agustina Woodgate

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Hannah Sentenac covers veg food, drink, pop culture, travel, and animal advocacy issues. She is also editor-in-chief of
Contact: Hannah Sentenac