It’s been about a year since this trip. Controversial experience that left me the desire to continue feeding my eyes with knowledge.
Walking through the streets of Miami means slip into the American dream tunnel without knowing the ins and outs of the city in the background. A significant impact, made of everything we have ever imagined and seen in many films. They love to let us see it as it is, Italians mean pasta as Americans mean hamburgers, you know it and so you see it.
Digging a little bit you find everything else, and my everything else has been Wynwood. A city within a city, a district in total turmoil beyond the bridge, as if to create a thin yellow line that screams “there’s much more here”. During the years America has represented, in the imagination of many people, a country of dreams -real or illusory-, the opportunity, the chance to succeed that in other countries is not given to you. Wynwood has been the chance that the city gave to itself, to requalify an industrial area: someone believed in it and that happened.
Where today lays the Wynwood Art District, years ago there was a neighborhood inhabited by Puerto Ricans, so called Little San Juan or El Barrio, a rich industrial area of clothing stores and shoes from where it was better to keep away from.
The initial idea of the organization Primary Flight in 2007 was to redevelop the area by creating an “open air museum”, a veritable outdoor museum that would include the entire district. Street artists from all over the world were and are given free pass to decorate the endless walls of the warehouses. Over the years, the initiative has evolved and enlarged involving more and more creativeness, lured by these huge walls, giant uncut canvases ready to receive color.
At the same time the property developer Tony Goldman, owner of a part of the district, and art lover, decided to make available a complex of buildings from the infinite walls that is now known as Wynwood Walls. A lucky choice, for the project and the neighborhood.
Today Wynwood is the largest “street art museum” in the world, huge murals in cyclical renewal, more than 70 galleries of all kinds, spaced out with designer shops, gifts and apparel. A neighborhood in turmoil frequented by young art students and enthusiasts, which reaches its peak of visits during the week of Art Basel Miami, one of the most important exhibitions of art in the world.
Like dreams and all the nice things, his magic over the years is tending to fade, becoming sucked into the incredible strength of the market and its long tentacles made of commercial activities and speculators. So if you love “raw” versions like me, hurry up, before miss this face -less predictable- of Miami.