Quite magically, on the day my mural in Brooklyn fell through, my good friend, incredible artist, Wyzard of Odd, Bryan Lahr called and asked if I wanted to paint a wall with him in Miami. Instinctively, without a breath, I said yes.
Bryan's friend, Joe Risolia, is curating live art at one of the biggest music shows in Miami, Ultra Music Festival. He confirmed a wall for Bryan, who originally offered to share it. Then, Bryan bowed out because of his commitment to UltraFest and a very ambitious cross-country Diabetes Walk that he's personally organizing. Bittersweet, because a collaboration with Bryan would have been incredible. But, now I get to have the experience of designing, painting and seeing one of my own pieces on a 24 foot wall.
After speaking with Joe, I learned that the wall at 199 NE 82nd Terrace is one of many he secured in Little River, Miami. I learned that there has been a lot of buzz about Little River, Little Haiti and El Portal, all working-class towns, becoming up-and-coming art communities. Some nice galleries are already there. So, the piece I would propose will honor this creative movement.
But that's not all. A mural of this nature brightens a neighborhood. Gives people a sense of discovery, like being on safari. It can uplift people. It can unite people. It can inspire people of all ages to do something creative. I see it as pure magic.
I've been in love with street art for a while. A few years ago Alex Emmart included me in a few group shows at his gallery, Mighty Tanaka (DUMBO, Brooklyn). I learned that my colorful, surreal work resonated with his collectors, as well as other artists he represented. Those people came from street art and graffiti. Through these shows, I was introduced to a new culture - younger, cooler and more confident than myself. Since then, I've been inspired by el Seed, Fernando Romero & Mike Baca of UR NEW YORK, Nychos, Joe Iurato, Beau Stanton, RETNA and ChrisRWK. To have a piece near theirs (even if it's 4 miles away from the Wynwood Walls) is such an honor and excites me more than I can express here. (I hope my artwork does that for me.)
So, spray paints, tips and a respirator mask have been ordered through Art Primo. Another trip to Home Depot is in order. And a ladder is being borrowed. And, soon, I'll be headed to Florida. My Mom & Dad will even come down to watch me work. Samara will be there. And I plan on taking a lot of photos and video. I might even try live streaming a portion of it.
Since this mural is a gift to the Town of Little River, and since it's about an influx of new people in my life - as well as an influx of people into Little River - I've decided to have it crowd-funded. Below is the link to my page on GoFundMe. Please take a quick look if you're interested in being part of it. (Anyone who contributes over $100 before the paint dries on April 3rd will have their name on it. Donations will gratefully be accepted after the mural is finished.)