Miami New Times' Mastermind Awards honors the city's most inspiring creatives. This year, we received more than 100 submissions, which our staff narrowed to an elite group of 30. We'll be profiling those honorable mentions, and eventually the finalists, in the weeks to come. This year's three Mastermind Award winners will be announced February 28 at Artopia, our annual soiree celebrating Miami culture. For tickets and more information, visit the website.
Manny Prieres believes that art should be seen and heard. The "part anthropologist, part draftsman, part historical scavenger" creates artwork that celebrates marginalized literature and film -- art that the rest of the world has been "forbidden" from seeing at one point or another.
Born in Madrid, Spain, in the early '70s, Prieres came to Miami where he teamed up with fellow artists Jose Reyes and Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova to create Box, an alternative art space they ran for seven years. His work has been featured at The Bass Museum of Art, the Miami Art Museum, and galleries in Auckland, Istanbul, Los Angeles, and New York.
He was also selected for an 18 month-long residency in 2010 with Cannonball Miami (formerly LegalArt) and has been featured in The Miami Herald, ArtNexus, Art Papers, and Artnet Online. Prieres is represented by local favorite Spinello Projects and lives and works in Miami.
Follow the jump to read our Q&A with Prieres and find out how he learned to embrace Miami's humidity and why he loves Shel Silverstein.
Cultist: In first grade, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a member of KISS.
Favorite thing about Miami?
The combination of tropical plants and humidity. It took over 30 years to embrace the humidity of Miami. I remember the moment that happened. It was a hot and humid July night. I was with a few friends and we ended up at some hotel by the water. All five senses were working on overdrive. From the smell of the salt air, the combination of neon lights and lush tropical trees and the feeling of my sweat against my face, it hit me. There is no other place like this in the world and it's mine. All I needed was a Jan Hammer track blaring in the background.
Least favorite thing about Miami?
Lack of seasons. I wish there was more a winter and fall vibe here, but I can live with that. The one thing that gets on my nerves about Miami is we are a culture of cutting corners. Don't get me wrong, sometimes that works to our advantage. But when it doesn't, it's bad. Miami is still a young city. It's figuring itself out.
If you could live in any one time period, in any country, which would it be?
Lower East Side, NYC in the 70's and 80's. This was the last time that NYC was the creative hub of the United States. Before the condos and lofts. You had artists, musicians, junkies, and thieves in one place. And they created a raw utopic place that bled creativity.
Three fave writers?
Dave Hickey: Air Guitar. Amazing storyteller. And a great mind when it comes to art and culture.
J.D. Salinger: The Cather in the Rye. Should be every teenager's bible. Next to their copy of Nirvana's Nevermind.
Shel Silverstein: The Giving Tree. Show you the true meaning of conditional love, in all its glory and misery.
2013 Mastermind Award Honorable Mentions:
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