Art Week in Miami

Between a five-foot neon vagina and Sunday brunch at Delano’s, it is safe to say Art Week in Miami was an orgasmic event. Don’t be fooled, it is much more than neon lights and bottomless mimosas. As much as it is frivolous debauchery, Art Week doubles as a place of self-discovery and globalization, because, like all works of art, its meaning is held by those who witness it. I am neither an art connoisseur, nor an empty shell of asininity. However, I do like to dabble with folk on both ends of the extreme (empty shells often make for great eye candy), and along the course of my weekend in Miami, dabble I did.


EXHIBIT A, Pinta Miami

Let’s talk about the intense AF post-Maria installation at Mana Wynwood’s Latin American exhibition, Pinta Miami. While many were fascinated by a mass array of hanging bars of light (myself included, until I thought about the sheer amount of energy it was consuming), I dilly-dallied over to a less populated scene and stumbled upon, none other than, mah people.


A massive American flag with fifty stars spelling out “FAKE” hinted a Boricua bloodline, but the island’s silhouette made from trash bags was a dead giveaway. Four paintings overlapped the silhouette, depicting rats, screaming faces, a falling man’s obscured ballsack, a fogata releasing demonic creatures, and other figures. An obstacle of little blue roofs divided the walk from the flag to the silhouette, emblematic of the tarps stretched across so many Puerto Rican homes.

Amongst Picasso’s and Botero’s, and even a prototype playground for children in São Paulo designed by Pininfarina (the designer for Ferrari and Maserati, okay), the Focus on Puerto Rico exhibition shook me to the next level, because it was tangible.


EXHIBIT B, The Nightclubs.

“But Valentina, how is a nightclub art?” you may ask. Have you been to Miami? All the nightclubs are art. The dancers clad in nothing, but a silver thread and golden needles at E11even are art. The hanging garden illuminated by the sunrise’s gentle glow at Space is art. And the free-falling, geometric petals forming a mandala around massive, tiled columns, descending and ascending to and fro, are MOST. CERTAINLY. ART.

EXHIBIT C, Wynwood Walls

The North American Mecca of Urban Art, Wynwood Walls - and most of actual Wynwood, at this point - is an essential part of Art Week. If you didn’t snap a selfie, or harass a stranger or your Instahubby to take a photo of you in front of at least one mural, did you really go to Art Week? Last year, I missed my flight home for the cause. Call me extra, but it is simply that crucial. It’s an opportunity to visually immerse yourself; to build upon the themes presented at the show. This year’s theme was “humanKIND” and, although I was sad to see Cryptic’s mural was gone, Audrey Kawasaki’s work (behind me) is more than a suitable replacement.

I’d say it’s my favorite, but that spot in my heart belongs to Alexis Diaz (boricuaaa!). He has one of my FAVE MURALS EVER right there for viewing pleasure. The precision. The color scheme. The content. The texture. My heart, oh! How it throbs! *slayed*



Exhibit D, CONTEXT.

I’m not sure who needs a 12-foot sculpture of a rearing steed made entirely from bullet shells, but I am not one to criticise. Sike! I am. The horse was one of the few contemporary pieces worthy of a quick - admittedly, blurred - snap, whereas the majority of, well, everything else was… kinda meh. CONTEXT was overcrowded and oversaturated with a general plasticky feel. With the exception of one lonely Botero, an obese nun that looked totally out of place in the midst of all that “meh”, there was little that spoke loudly enough to be heard over the clamor of commerce and competition.

Maybe this is a reflection on how everything worthwhile has already been created, or how art can be blatantly and dishonorably industrialized, or perhaps I’ve drifted too far into my own salty sea of subjectivity, but I think I’m right about this. Next time I get freebies to an exhibition, I won’t be swayed from the main event: Art Basel is the centerpiece amongst a lavish spread of exhibitions, hands down. Until next year.