There's much more to Miami than sunshine and sparkly beaches. In recent years, Miami has grown to be one of the top destinations for creating and showcasing electrifying art & design. Annual events such as Art Basel Miami and Design Miami continually put the festive equatorial town on the global map. But underneath the posh crowds and high profile curators is a crew of artist who are captivating the masses with their vibrant and powerful street art in Miami's Wynnwood Art District. "You can't sell these murals, they're on the walls, and they're not forever," Said one of Wynnwood's finest muralist Kenny Scharf. "It's a way of reaching people in a big way, I mean, if you do a painting in a gallery, how many people are going to see it? If you put a painting on Houston and Bowery I think 20,000 people an hour will see it. This is an alternative to the obsession with why art is better if it's worth more money."
A sea of objects is how Artist b. describes his colorful and detailed murals. From far away you may not be able to make out the individual forms and how they interplay with each other, but as you get closer you can see Christmas trees, stuffed animal characters, military tank, birthday cakes, hamburgers—anything and everything that people consume or throw away.
"I'm influenced a lot by supermarkets, TV advertisements, all these huge toy stores, all that architecture of shopping, which is everywhere." b. believes that we make a pattern of random things in the choices we make, and he wants to show that this is the world that we create.
How and Nosm (Raoul and Davide Perre) are identical twin brothers known for their large scale graffiti based murals that adorn such famed city walls as New York's Bowery and San Franscisco's Hyde Street. Their Wynwood wall, completed in just four days, was built around the theme of homing pigeons--on the left a pigeon head rises out of the water; a dead pigeon lies on its back in the center, and the character on the right, a human-bird hybrid, symbolizes the viewer watching the scene unfold.
TMNK (aka Nobody) is a, New York Street Artist, a contemporary American artist who works explore and offer critical discourse on socio-political issues such as racism, classism, sexism, third-world plight, first-world arrogance, war and peace. The artist took a minimalistic and straight forward approach in Wynnwood by painting the entire wall magenta with scribbles reading "I am not defined by your ignorance. I am beauty. I am love."
Artist Liqen created a powerful black and white mural of a maze in Wynnwood titled 'Wall Street Labyrinth'. Liqen grew up in the industrial city of Vigo, Spain. He was inspired by the comics that he read, and from a young age graffiti also fascinated him. What influences his work most today is the animal kingdom, nature, and creatures from the earth's depths. His pseudonym Liqen, which is a mix between an algae and a fungus, reflects his socio-biological interest in species that on first view might seem strange but that contain unique characteristics that allow them to be reborn after lying dormant for centuries.
"I don't put eyes because I believe that we are all blind," said Mexican artist Saner. "When we look through the heart's eyes, we will feel the world and see what it really is." To create this Wynnwood mural, Saner teamed up with follow Mexican artist Sego, an artist known for painting dreamy otherworldly creatures. "Our work now is not only for us," said Sego. "The problems in trafficking, the violence, and other bad things do exist. But those aren't the only things that exist in Mexico."
Painting the Wynnwood Walls was street artist Nunca's first mural in the United States. when he arrived in Miami for the Wynwood Walls in 2009. The artist, who lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil, has been painting in that city's streets since the 1990s, and he is known for confronting modern Brazil with its native past by depicting indigenous people on countless walls.
All Photographs were captured by KNSTRCT using the new HTC One