I'm In Miami Bitch - The Disappearing Street Art of Wynwood

I'M IN MIAMI BITCH! The Project, An Explanation.

By Andrew Kaufman aka AK FOTO

     Photography is the most permanent longest lasting proof of street art. There is no way to preserve street art except to photograph it before it fades, is toyed with, buffed or written over. Street art, by its very nature is a fluid art form, constantly evolving because of the landscape, materials, politics, weather etc.  

      It is through photography that street art can be conveyed to the world. Images of the artists and their works are reproduced and disseminated through books, magazines and the internet. 

BASELGEDDON: FIVE8 Q&A

All the way from Montreal to Wynwood is FiVE8. 

A FIVE8 mural in Fat Village, Fort Lauderdale.

TEN QUESTIONS:

 

What do you write? Are you in a crew?

     I write FIVE EIGHT and am in the FAM CREW.

 

In what city did you start painting in the streets? Do you feel your work has influenced the community in return? If so, how? Is there a relationship between the artist and the community in which they work?

      I started painting in Montreal, where I’m from. The only community I may have influenced would be the local graffiti community, if that. I haven’t done enough large-scale outdoor work for the general population to really know about me.

 

Did you go to school or are you self-taught?

     I did some school but never finished anything. I learned a lot from other artists that I painted with. I wouldn’t say I’m self-taught, I will forever be self-learning. If anything, the previous 13 years were just spent learning the foundational skills. I’m just starting to discover how to paint.

 

How did you get started in the arts and why?

     My introduction into “the arts” was through graffiti. Painting just became what my life was about like so many of my friends at the time. It’s just all we ever did, constantly talking about other artists and their work. Researching work being produced in other countries and just being really active in producing work on a regular basis. It’s a lifestyle that continues on.

 

How long have you been working in the streets?

     For 3 years. 

 

Who or what inspires you the most?

     Lately, I have been very interested in outer space and geometric themes as well as 80’s electro and neon signs. I’m also inspired by artists doing things outside the standard graffiti aesthetic.  

 

What should the general public know about street art? What stereotype about street art/graffiti do you hate the most?

     If I had only one short paragraph to tell the general public something about street art, it would be this. Forget the whole street art vs. graffiti debate. The real issue is talent vs. mediocrity. There are a lot of artists in this genre of art whatever you call it, street art, graffiti, post-modern expressionism, some have skill and are innovative while others produce mediocre work. Some actually contribute to and influence the culture while others are non-relevant yet feel entitled to the recognition. It’s a shame to see talented, influential artists struggle and slip through the cracks while posers get written into the history books because their online marketing game is strong. Or that they use a gimmick like tattooing a mustache on their face.

 

Are you a full time artist? Do you have a day job? Is it best to be full time artist or not worry about it and make your $$$ elsewhere, that way you can paint what and how you want, which one offers a more creative outlook?

     Making a living as an artist is a full time job, but sometimes the revenue stream dries up. In those cases, I look for temporary part-time work. The commissions I get are things I don’t even include on my portfolio because they don’t follow the direction I envision my work taking. The work that makes it into my portfolio is created between the paying jobs. Eventually, I plan to only take commissions solely based on my vision and direction.

 

What are you working on now? 

     Winter is fast approaching here in Quebec. Right now I’m gathering and storing nuts for the hibernation. It’s about 5-6 months where exterior murals are not an option unless I travel to warmer climate. I’ve been sitting on an acrylic portrait series I would like to get back to. I’m also starting work on a neon sign project, which is still in the research phase. 

 

What do you hope to achieve or accomplish by putting your work in the street?

     Simply be to let my peers know I’m out here and to showcase the style I’m bringing to the culture. I think of graffiti and painting in general like a B-boy battle. It’s a competition of style. You come into the circle, throw down and invite others to test your skills.  My introduction to art in general was through graffiti, where painting in the streets is the only way to go about it. Painting in the streets isn’t so much about accomplishing something, but more of a natural intuition. I enjoy painting in my studio but only in harmony with painting outside.  

 

Thanks,

FIVE8

Check out more of FIVE8'S work...

Portfolio

 

   

BASELGEDDON: PIXELPANCHO Q&A

This week on the Q&A we have PIXELPANCHO who painted in Wynwood back in 2011.

26th Street in Wynwood.

TEN QUESTIONS

What do you write? Are you in a crew?

     I write PIXELPANCO, and I am in two crews. The first one is AOS, Army of Snipers crew. The 2nd an Italian called TSO, Obligatory Sanitary Treatment.

 

In what city did you start painting in the streets? Do you feel your work has influenced the community in return? If so, how? Is there a relationship between the artist and the community in which they work?

     Actually, I started painting in the northern country side of Italy, where I'm from. It is next to The Alps. But, I was always trying to paint and draw everywhere I was. I guess everything effects people and the community. It depends on whether they want to be influenced or not.

 

Did you go to school or are you self taught? 

     I have been painting since I am a little boy, but I went for two years to The Academy of Art in Turin, Italy. Then another two years for the degree at the University of Art in Valencia, Spain.

 

How did you get started in the arts and why?

     A friend of mine brought me some books and images of street art. I really liked it, so I never stopped.

 

How long have you been working in the streets?

     Since I am 15 years old.

 

Who or What inspires you the most?

         Life itself is what inspires me the most. All of my surroundings and my travels. I have a lot of inspiration.

     

    What should the general public know about street art? What stereotype about street art/graffiti do you hate the most?

         Well, quite frankly I don't agree with the art world. Urban art is not respected in the contemporary art scene, but there is still a place for it. Take for instance in Italy where urban art is not thought of as artistic, but just as a young guy painting on a wall.

     

    Are you a full time artist? Do you have a day job? Is it best to be full time artist or not worry about it and make your $$$ elsewhere, that way you can paint what and how you want, which one offers a more creative outlook?

         Yes, I am surviving with just my art.

     

    What are you working on now?

         Well, I have several different projects going on. It's best to tune into my social media channels, that is the best way to describe it.

     

    What do you hope to achieve or accomplish by putting your work in the street?

         Oh, I can't say! Otherwise, I will ruin the surprise.  

     

    Thanks,

       PIXELPANCHO

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    I'M IN MIAMI BITCH! A Comprehensive Survey

         Yes, yes, it has been a while, toiling away here deep in the AK Foto Laboratory comes The Comprehensive Survey. What does that mean you ask? Well, it means that all the different facets of I'M IN MIAMI BITCH! will be on display this coming Saturday October 11th at  Galleria Gum in Wynwood for 2nd Saturday's art walk. What can you expect to see? The invite will break it down for you. 

    The invite...

         Another part of the IIMB! project that has been under wraps for a while that will be exhibited for the 1st time are the artist collaborated silk screens.

    Included in the show will be:  Luis BerrosNoah LevyDiana ContrerasYamel MolerioLuis ValleNAPSATOMIKGGKEDSDAZESP1MEMEDEITYCharlie Calderin and more to come. 

    See you there....

    AK