If you haven’t been to Art Basel or ventured beyond South Beach when you were last in Miami, it’s time to visit the Wynwood Arts District. Home to over 70 art galleries, retail stores, antique shops, bars and restaurants, it is largely the result of the vision of one developer–David Lombardi. Art Basel came to South Beach in 2002, and Mr. Lombardi purchased his first lot in Wynwood around that time. As prices began to rise in the design district, Lombardi courted artists without representation. By 2004, there were 15 to 18 galleries. Creative developer Tony Goldman opened a popular restaurant. Graffiti artists tagged abandoned warehouses. The rest is real estate development history.
My favorite gallery was Robert Fontaine Gallery. A collection of bird cages, featuring silent videos of life-sized canaries, finches or doves depicted via small LCD screens are by the multidisciplinary artist Troy Abbott.
Nick Gentry, a British artist from London, creates floppy disk paintings. Now that everything is in the cloud, I sort of miss those things…
The Polish street artist Agata Oleksiak, better known as Olek, is known for her crotched works. Perhaps because I don’t know how to ride one, I wouldn’t mind having this in my apartment.
And last, but not least, our favorite artist was Alexander Korzer-Robinson. He makes book sculptures/cut books by going through antique books, page by page, cutting around illustrations and removing others. A removable clear acrylic pane slides in behind the cover to protect the artwork from dust and damage. Originally from Leipzig in Germany, he is now based in Bristol, England.
A commentary on how people today ingest media (ie. by looking at images as opposed to reading) spoke to Lewis and me. We couldn’t resist purchasing an edition of illustrated French encyclopedia Nouveau Larousse Illustre.