Graffiti Gone Global Takes Miami

If you’re in A & D and you’ve ever harbored even a smidge of interest in having a design product, work of art, or architectural endeavor publicized, than you’re sure to have heard of Susan Grant Lewin Associates. With offices in New York and Miami, the PR firm has its fingers on the pulse of the industry, or, in other words, they’re “at the forefront of the contemporary cultural dialogue, thanks to close ties with the journalists, curators, and influentials who shape opinions about art, architecture and design.” The long and short of it is that if SGLA is publicizing an event, it’s well worth hearing about it.

Untitled. Created by Crome.

This is very much the case with Graffiti Gone Global, one of the many art fairs/companion events to Art Basel/Design Miami, happening early next month. Curated by New York photographers and writers James and Karla Murray, GGG is a first-of-its-kind exhibition. Though that may sound like hyperbole, it’s not stretching the truth to say that the event will be among the largest gathering of international graffiti (or “street”) artists ever. Among familiar faces are Brazil’s Smael, whose paintings remind me of a multi-hued mash-up of Spain’s Joan Miró and Warner Brothers’ Looney Tunes; Japan’s Aiko Nakagawa, whose work embodies the dynamism of graphic art and the refinements of Anime; Colombia’s Billi Kid, whose homages to the famous offer a new take on Warholian mass consumption; as well as N.Y.C.’s very own Ewok One 5MH, who manages to surpass even Goya in his embrasure of the grotesque; and home-town favorite Crome, whose work one critic has described as “an amalgam of sex, color, crime, and fun” (sounds like quintessential Miami to me).


Graffiti Gone Global’s new space. Photography by James and Karla Murray Photography.


Graffiti Gone Global’s new space. Photography by James and Karla Murray Photography.


A galinha, Tamanho Ano. Created by Smael.


Billi Kid Obama Stencil. Created by Billi Kid.

But beyond this much-deserved recognition of the form as legitimate, participatory art (and art that is bound to influence design), Graffiti Gone Global brings a new and enhanced architectural slant to the idea of exhibition space. The gallery for the event—an asymmetrical 4,000 ft. structure designed to resemble the multi-ethnic Brazilian shantytowns known as Favelas—is constructed of interlocking elements of wood and steel. Designed for easy dis-assembly and portability, these members will become the canvas for live painting exhibits by artists during the show, and then be detached and sold. And, for those of you who must have your design fix (even during the ultra-arty Design Miami), several of the graffiti artists will be showing their own furniture designs.

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