November 6, 2018 | 8:00am
Designer Moises Esquenazi and his partner Christopher Menendez spent the better part of the summer hiking through Japan. Like 19th-century explorers, they traversed the island nation in search of one of its modern cultural exports: stickers.
That's right. Stickers.
Following a childlike fascination with all things harajuku, the pair decided to bring their scavenged loot straight to Waowig Studio, Esquenazi's gallery and showroom space in Wynwood, for a pop-up store featuring site-specific installations. And the two are feting their retail meets pop-art concept with an opening-night celebration, Sticker Disco, named after the 25 mirrored disco balls that already adorned the space.
"Two years ago I opened Waowig Studio as a retail experiment to showcase objects I collected through my travels," Esquenazi explains. "An urge to change the energy of the space and our passion for stickers — I carry stickers with me everywhere I go — naturally brought the Sticker Disco pop-up shop to life."
Esquenazi founded Waowig after moving to Miami following successful stints working as an interior designer in New York and Los Angeles. His Wynwood showroom and workspace acts as a multidisciplinary gallery, one that's been covered by Surface magazine and the Miami Herald for its quirky knickknacks and vibrant palette. Never one to blend into the crowd, Esquenazi espouses a maximal design philosophy, where more is always more.
Just some of the stickers you'll find at Sticker Disco.
Courtesy of Waowig Studio
That's why Sticker Disco was such a natural fit for Waowig. After combing the streets of Tokyo in search of the finest artisanal stickers the city had to offer, Esquenazi and Menendez brought that magic home with them — in bulk. Along with their treasures from abroad, they've brought in original sticker art from Los Angeles-based comedian and social media star Caroline Goldfarb (AKA @officialseanpenn). For years, her collages and sticker sheets featuring celebrities like Britney Spears, Kris Jenner, Anna Nicole Smith, Rihanna, Larry David, Lil' Kim, and many others have blown up on millennial feeds nationwide.
"Putting one of Caroline's stickers of Britney Spears shaving her head on the back of my phone became a major icebreaker in new social settings," says Menendez. "It’s not rocket science. Stickers disarm people and make
Joining the sticker extravaganza is work by Chinese artist Xiaofanx and American artists Tim O’ Brien and Kelly Breez, along with handmade Colombian jewelry by Mercedes Salazar. Think of Sticker Disco as your dream sticker cabinet, art gallery, and Barney’s jewelry counter, all rolled up into one.
Sticker Disco. Opening night celebration 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, November 8; pop-up open 2 to 7 p.m. daily through Thursday, December 20, at Waowig Studio, 89 NE 27th St. #106, Miami; 305-632-0330; waowig-llc.myshopify.com. Admission is free.