By Gorillakill and BEIRUT bomber, “One who flew over that nest”. Mix media on wall, Miami 2021

Selections’ writer and visual artist Yasmina Nysten writes about painting in Miami during ArtBasel. Experience Wynwood, the stomping ground of street art through her perspective.

New York street art photo
New York street art photo

 

This year during ArtBasel, away from the Miami Beach buzz, a whole lot of bright colours and largess was taking place on the streets of the infamous neighbourhood called Wynwood.

Artists from all over the globe have taken to the streets claiming their walls, working through the nights, mingling amongst each other and the creatures of the night.

The entire area smelt of spray paint and smoke.

 

 

 

We rolled into Wynwood at sunset on the Wednesday of Art Basel week. « We » refers to myself and my painting partner in crime who goes by GorillaKill. An Oregon based artist who has made this trip 17 times to date. It was my first experience.

Wynwood
Wynwood

On night one, the area was dominated by the presence of some bold characters, the kind that look you straight in the eye as they look right through you. Protectors and supporters of the arts like Joe Ficalora, creator of the Bushwick Collective, one of the most popular locations around.
I learnt that night that he was essential to the local artistic ecosystem.

By the second day I was more aware of my surroundings, hungry for paint. We took to the street at a new location. A parallel street, manned by Tut, a local street artist who has been on the block for as long as all the art around, curating the work on those specific walls and bringing only positive energy to his artists and friends.

By Thursday, the neighbourhood was buzzing like madness. The wall assigned to us by Tut was in front of a nightclub called MAPS that happened to have DJs such as Major Lazor, Diplo and Shepard Ferry playing music all night. Painting was like fire.

 

Simultaneously on the same 24th street, you could find the one and only, coined godfather of street art: Ron English, the talented and sharp minded Ian Wilkinson, the Miss of all Misses Elle, Sipros and his giant expressionistic Dalí head, LAmour Supreme, Osiris and many more. All this culminated into 25th street where the museum of graffiti, held a mind bending exhibition that included some of their works.

 

By the end of the weekend, after all said, done and painted, I finally earned my first street art badge which was a baptism of sorts: the BEIRUT Bomber was I coined henceforth.

By Gorillakill and BEIRUT bomber, “One who flew over that nest”. Mix media on wall, Miami 2021
By Gorillakill and BEIRUT bomber, “One who flew over that nest”. Mix media on wall, Miami 2021

From the street to the moon, the fumes of Wynwood rise up in colored hues. It’s the other side of that lucky coin, the place to be during Art Basel. A word of advice: do NOT miss it.

Ron English 24th street Miami 2021
Ron English 24th street Miami 2021
Yasmina Nysten

Yasmina Nysten is a painter, writer and photographer. She has shown her photography, illustration and painting from New York to Qatar. Born and raised in Helsinki, she has lived in Cannes, Beirut and Brooklyn. After a BA from ALBA University, Beirut, she is currently earning her MA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. In her spare time, she has been known to trip the lights fantastic and ride her hot pink motorcycle around the hood.

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SELECTIONS is a platform for the arts, focusing on the Arab World.

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