While Miami is obsessed with Art Basel this weekend, the rest of the world is gleefully awaiting the December 18 release of Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. Of course, many works on display at Art Basel and Miami Art Week take inspiration from pop culture and movie references. So when Johnathan Wakefield of J. Wakefield Brewing was approached by Puerto Rican street artist Bikismo to paint a giant mural inspired by one of the movie franchise's most iconic characters outside his Wynwood brewery, he was all for it.
Wakefield, a self-professed Star Wars fan, already has a wall of his taproom depicting the movie's famous cantina scene. He initially rejected a few ideas for a new mural before Bikismo came up with the concept for a gleaming Darth Vader mask. "I wasn't feeling some other ideas, but this is going to be great."
The larger-than-life metallic depiction of the famous villain might just put J. Wakefield on the map not only for its beer but also for being the most heavily Star Wars-themed brewery in the galaxy (or at least the world). Wakefield, who's renting out a theater for a special, private screening of the new film for his staff, says he's OK with that, although he's quick to point out that the brewery hosts several other works that are not tied to the movie, including a woman painted by N Carlos J and another piece by Ben Angotti.
The brewer, who also collaborated with Ahol Sniffs Glue on a limited release of the brewery's Harbinger beer, says there's a definite correlation between art and brewing. "They're both creative forms of expression. These artists have their murals as an outlet; I have my beer."
The Vader mural at J. Wakefield Brewing is scheduled to be completed today, December 4. The outline alone shimmers in the sunlight, promising a stunning visual when finished. De
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Bikismo is known for painting hyperrealistic chrome murals. His Chromed Dog, painted for the Raw Project at Jose de Diego Middle School, was the talk of last year's Art Basel. Although the artist uses only spray paint, his works take on a liquefied-metallic 3D quality.
Bikismo also created a skull for Smashed Canvas. The work is located just inside the beer garden at 244 NE 29th St., along with nearly two dozen works by Brian Butler, Caratoes, D*Face, Jeff Grass, and Tatiana Suarez. Smashed Canvas is open now through Sunday, December 6, from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Much of the beer garden is