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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

These walls are reserved and waiting for action

All over Wynwood Miami, walls are being measured, taped off, guarded and staked. While the muralists eye them from across the street, their assistants or men with truck beds loaded with compressors hire themselves out to do the prep work. Lifts and wheeled ladders can be seen down every street. There are carts and crates of paint cans on the sidewalks. Tempera bottles crushed in the gutters. Friends park awkwardly and open their trunks, casually exposing coolers of beers. Pedestrian gawkers walk down the middle of the roads. Music plays. Police cruisers park in the shade on the meridian of NW 5th avenue.
All work seems slow, and waiting, timing itself to meet the rush of the crowd of art lovers here for the Basel Convention center and the 23 satellite fairs, with simultaneous orgy of musical events and gastronomic pop up sensations. These painters want to be caught in the act!

This artist has been painting this same section of the wall for the last four years. Every year it is a new image. He has been painting walls since the 1980's and comments on how much has changed. When he started...

he was part of a gang and he risked his life painting walls. Now he has been invited to paint the very walls he would have been arrested or shot at before. The change serves him fine. He has aged and has kids now. The image this year is inspired by a hero from his kid's Latino literature. Though certainly friendly and forthright, he is not waiting to paint for an audience. He has to be home by the end of the day, and yet he has another wall to paint around the corner that is being prepped ahead for him.
The mural above is a half day's work. It can be seen by highway 95 (northbound).

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