This year Wywood Walls turned five and to mark the special occasion curator Jeffrey Deitch called on on the finest ladies in the field for Women on the Walls. International artists Aiko, Miss Van, Fafi, Maya Hayuk, Lady Pink, Faith47, Lakwena, Kashink, Sheryo, Olek, Toofly, Claw Money, Jessie & Katey, Myla, and Shamsia Hassani all created murals or showed in the adjacent exhibition space. The participating artists have come from cities such as Cape Town, Paris, New York, and London. Part gallery part mural exhibition, the project acts as a history guide to the great presence of women muralists.
Women on the Walls is a dream come true and also a proverbial screw you to people who say that the reason women artists are often overshadowed in the media is due to a dearth in street art. That, to be blunt, is bullshit. Older artists and the younger generation they inspired came together in the Wynwood district of Miami this Art Basel to prove their stronghold in the public art community. The scope of media alone proves their mastery of the craft as spray paint, yarn, text, stencils, and free handed characters all co-mingle to form a variety that has something to please most tastes.
Not only is the perfect storm of artists curated in this year’s Wynwood Walls enough to be in awe of, additionally Martha Cooper has shared some breathtaking progress photos. As artfully as the walls are decorated, each image thoughtfully reveals the personas behind the iconography. Each picture displays the strength of these women, whether unveiling the sheer amount of effort behind a production to those who stand boldly in front of completed pieces. Cooper shows that these women are heroes, or warriors as Toofly depicts, taking on whatever challenges lay in their wake and simply killing it.
There’s something a little awkward about “graffiti” on canvas. The work may look great but it still feels like there is a crucial element missing or out of place…
New York City’s Klughaus Gallery wanted to showcase graffiti in Miami this year the way it was intended to be shown: outdoors on the side of trucks. The graffiti artists were forced into a “natural” state of mind since they went at it knowing that their work would be painted over in the next 24 hours and would be on display for less time than it took them to paint. The work was displayed while cruising down the main streets of Wynwood and around a lot of the Art Basel-gallery-action in Miami Beach. Awesome concept.
In case you’d like to be in Miami right now for Art Basel Miami and the associated craziness of the season, but you’re stuck at home like me, here’s a small segment of what we’re missing (focusing on indoor events because a lot of the murals are still in progress):
After maybe a month of rumors, it seems official: Shepard Fairey has some sort of relationship with the famed Deitch Projects. This piece, Patagonia, is being shown by Deitch at Art Basel.
If this leads to an exhibition or Fairey being managed by Deitch, it could mean big things for Fairey. Over the past month, a number of Fairey’s works have changed hands on the secondary, and demand for his work seems higher than ever. I think most would agree that Fairey is a smart businessman, and there isn’t much of a smarter move for increasing the value of his work and exposing it to a more “contemporary art” audience than getting together with Deitch.