The weather behaved so well this year for Art Basel, making the outdoor strolling, brunches and parties easy to enjoy. But there may not have been a better atmosphere than at the “opening” of the Wynwood Walls on a Tuesday night. That may sound strange considering that the founder of the massive mural space, and the developer of so much of the Wynwood neighborhood, Tony Goldman, had just recently – and unexpectedly – died of a heart attack. Everyone realizes the area has lost a great champion, yet on this evening everyone was in top spirits, reflecting perhaps the ever-energetic person of Goldman.
Some new touches and aspects to the outdoor walls were revealed, and some of the main mural makers, such as Shepard Fairey and Ron English, were on site. But the real treat was the in-door pop-up museum, dedicated to Goldman and the work he has collected, which will stay up for at least a month.
There is a dual work from Logan Hicks, who depicts urban cityscapes in a somber manner – he takes photographs and then stencils the images on his walls. Inside, these are two “paintings” created in his distinctive, layered stenciled style, portraits of the city. Across the back room from Hicks are two anything but somber works, jumping off the wall with crazy color and 3-D imagery. One is from Kenny Scharf (once a Miami resident who now works in New York), a painting that looks like a detail of his wall outside. The other is a really psychedelic trip from Ron English, incorporating 3-D images of his freaky toys – you just have to see it in person.
Also in the museum are photographic documentation of the various mural projects Goldman instigated, and photographs of him and moments in his life. Both indoors and outdoors there is a good vibe, probably the best tribute he could have asked for.
The numerous, huge outdoor Wynwood Walls murals and the several indoor spaces are free and open to the public, 167 NW 25th St., Miami; thewynwoodwalls.com.