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Amon Focus take us on a Tour of Miami Art Basel, SCOPE, Naked Taco and Wynwood Art District

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To be honest, I fully intended to host this Art Basel video like Anthony Bourdain or try my best to emulate the travel show hosts I see on tv. But then I had a second thought, why don’t I just be myself and tell my story. That is a lot easier for me. I’m not very good at being other people.

Music kindly provided by:

Willard Hill – http://www.willardhill.com
Broke for Free – http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Broke_For_Free/
DJ TREW – https://djtrew.bandcamp.com/releases

My trip to Art Basel started in the Lower East Side. First thing I did was catch a super early flight to Fort Lauderdale because the tickets were a better deal than flying into Miami.

I skipped the rental car this time because it’s made more sense to just cab it everywhere and to be honest, parking in South Beach can be a bit of a hassle.

I booked a room at a hotel on Collins not too far from Wet Willies. It was walking distance from Art Basel, as well the food, drink and the other art shows.

Art Basel takes place at the Miami Beach Convention Center and the show itself is huge. I learned pretty quickly that comfy shoes are a must because there is a fair amount of walking. My kicks are pretty comfy but I will say, at the end of each day my feet were KILLING me.

The amount of art that I saw was staggering. Art Basel is this beautiful maze of over 200 international modern and contemporary art galleries. Those galleries are displaying artworks by about 4,000 artists, easily. That’s everything from paintings to sculptures to installations, photography, film, digital art…you name it.

Before entering the building, I did a little bit of research. Nothing too heavy, but I had an idea of the artists and galleries I wanted to checkout. That way I didn’t miss the work that truly moved me while exploring the show. Art Basel has an app that’s pretty thorough, but you should also have Artsy on your phone, especially if you’re going to be exploring art in other destinations.

Which brings me to my next point, Art Basel is way more than what takes place in the Convention Center. There are literally dozens of other satellite fairs to checkout. They each have their own vibe and flavor, depending on the time of day you go.

I checked out SCOPE International Contemporary Art Show because I knew I’d see a slew of my favorite artists, as well as a bunch of fresh work from emerging artists.

One night, I stumbled upon a show called Aqua Art Miami. It was on Collins. I was walking back to my hotel, I saw a line, it peaked my curiosity so I went in. It was cool because they gutted this hotel of its furnishings and turned each room into gallery.

OK, let’s talk about food for a second.

Right by my hotel was a spot called Naked Taco, I ate there like 5 times for lunch and dinner. I kid you not. Don’t judge me. I’m always down to discover and try new food spots but when I find something that just works, you’ll see me again… and again, and again if need be. They also make great Pineapple Mojitos with Coconut sugar.

Anyway, if it’s breakfast time head to News Cafe for a fruit salad and a coffee. If you like cuban coffee stop by a spot call Las Olas Cafe for a colada and a huge egg sandwich.

Ok so, from South Beach I hopped in a cab and headed to Wynwood. It took about 30 minutes but that was mostly due to traffic.

Wynwood is kind of like Bushwick out in Brooklyn. It used to be a rough area and while I was there a local was telling me about a riot that took place but now Wynwood is drenched in art and culture.

A good place to start is 2nd Ave. Start at Wynwood walls and you’ll see work from artists from literally all across the globe.

Inside, there are murals of course but there are also 2 or three traditional galleries with a bunch of great work, a spot to get some food, and if you’re on you’re on a health kick there is a juice spot called JugoFresh.

Ok, here’s a tip most videos or blogs won’t tell you.

There aren’t that many bathrooms in Wynwood, so I highly recommend to use the restroom at JugoFresh before you leave the property to explore, because once you get out there on your on your own.

If you really want to catch the flavor of Wynwood, you have to explore. If I were you I’d just zigzag through the back blocks.

Trust me, you will find all kinds of hidden gems.

While I was walking around I saw super dope graffiti, murals galore, some of which took up entire buildings. I also had the opportunity to catch various artists bringing their ideas to life too. Most of them are approachable, but if they had headphones on or if it looks like they’re in the zone, I wouldn’t bother them.

Just a heads up, if you’re taking pictures of artists working in their element, be mindful of their desire for anonymity. Some folks don’t want their faces shown and others don’t mind, you can easily get the answer by looking at pictures they post on their IG or an easier option would be to ask them. They might even get a kick out of it.

As I got deeper and deeper into Wynwood, I kept finding more and more cool stuff. I found this ice cream shop called Serendipity Creamery and they had the killer strawberry cones. I found the old RC Cola Plant which was just gorgeously bombed top-to-bottom in tags, throwies, burners and blockbusters.

It’s owned by the Mana Urban Arts Project and a lot of the work here is curated by the Bushwhack Collective, so you’re bound to see some pretty epic walls.

Wynwood at night is pretty dope too. They had a festival called Hive. It was like a big party that housed a skate park, good music, food trucks and more art. They even had Pete from the Airbrush Factory doing old school Shirt Kings type airbrushing on tees for free, so you know I got one for New York Said.

Before I made it back to New York, I stopped by the Faena to check out the Gold Mammoth Bones by Damien Hirst and Science Ltd, visited the Public Sector which is a sculpture garden curated by the Public Art Fund, ate more tacos, then took dip in the pool so I would be nice and exhausted for my flight back home.

And that’s how I did Art Basel.

Peace,
Amon

Amon Focus is absolutely enamored with travel, good eats, great people and pretty much all things creative. Ask your mother about him.

Art

Solving for X with The Mazeking

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The Mazeking

 

 

 

Listen to New York Said wherever you get your podcasts:
Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn

 

In this episode The Mazeking and Amon talk meditation, Marcel Duchamp, Buddhism, film, physics, the big bang theory, being bullied, the process of living and the purpose of art.

 

More About The Mazeking

 

Official Website

Saatchi Art

Instagram

American artist The Mazeking 飛龍 (Gabriel Asoka) is known for creating colorful, bold, and provocative artworks. He officially began making art in 1998 and started painting, creating various works, ranging from oil on canvas to acrylic on paper. The majority of his work is done in themed series, sometimes taking months or even a year to complete.

In 2002, Asoka had his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles at the O’Melveny Gallery. His love of life, and passion for exploration springs forth in his works of art. His works are about the Unseen (esoteric), Balance (duality), and Energy; what Asoka calls the “three keys”. When asked about his subject matter “I have always been deeply drawn to the esoteric (spirit), science and philosophy. Which are all, one and the same to me”. Inspired by everything from daily encounters to dreams, he explores various themes, including consciousness, sexuality, and the mystical, offering us a richer and more engaging perspective.

Asoka utilizes colors, contrast and forms as symbols. “I’ve used symbols in almost all my work, sometimes it’s just the color of something, or a shape or form, to represent an aspect of something, states of mind or experiences. It’s something that arose in my life and work over time and became part of my process”. Asoka places no labels or categories upon his work. He does not see art in classifications or categories, such as abstract or representational, stating “Everything is abstract in a way and representational in another way, it’s all perception”.

Over the years, his artworks have been collected by private collectors and can be seen in exhibitions around the world. The Mazeking currently lives and works in New York City.

 

Happiness Here Street Art 64NYC

Art by Artist The Mazeking, Happiness Here Street Art.

Show Notes

The Formula Painting

The Formula Painting by Artist The Mazeking

Fashion Maze Carine Roitfeld

Fashion Maze Carine Roitfeld by Artist The Mazeking

 

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The Story of KRINK with Craig Costello

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Krink ® New York City, Courtesy Craig Costello

Krink ® New York City, Courtesy of Craig Costello

 

Listen to New York Said wherever you get your podcasts:
Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | TuneIn

 

Krink: Graffiti, Art, and Invention should have been the title of this week’s podcast episode but it’s already the title of Craig Costello’s new book that just dropped with Rizzoli.

In this episode Craig and Amon talk about growing up in Queens, life in San Francisco, the birth of Krink, Alife, minimizing risk, field testing, racking and the challenges of growing a small business.

 

Krink: Graffiti, Art, and Invention By Craig Costello, Published by Rizzoli

Krink: Graffiti, Art, and Invention By Craig Costello, Published by Rizzoli

More About Craig

Craig Costello, aka KR, grew up in Queens, New York, where graffiti was part of the landscape and a symbol of the city. While living in San Francisco, he quickly garnered attention when his signature “KR” tag popped up throughout the city. As he became one of the more prominent figures on the streets of NYC and SF, he began to hone his craft by creating better tools launching his own line of homemade markers and mops, combining his moniker KR with the word INK. In Krink: Graffiti, Art, and Invention, Costello has compiled a visual memoir: from his early days of the ’80s and ’90s and launch with the hip New York City retailer Alife, which put his brand on the map, to his evolution as an artist and high-fashion collaborator.

Krink: Graffiti, Art, and Invention By Craig Costello, Published by Rizzoli

Krink: Graffiti, Art, and Invention By Craig Costello, Published by Rizzoli

More about the Book

The book showcases Costello’s seminal style and his extensive body of work, including site-specific installations around the world. It also chronicles his myriad collaborations with Alife, Nike, Coach, Moncler, Modernica, Marc Jacobs, Levi Strauss & Co., Mini (BMW), Carhartt, Casio G-Shock, Kidrobot, Medicom Toy, Stance, agnès b., and colette, among many others. Today, Costello’s reach and influence goes far beyond urban street culture. Krink has grown exponentially into a global artist materials brand with expanding collections of apparel, tools, and accessories; while Costello’s unique aesthetic can be seen on objects from sneakers to luxury goods to cars.

Krink: Graffiti, Art, and Invention is both stylish and informative, capturing the ethos of punk and hip-hop culture, and is sure to appeal to the fans of high/low cultural crossovers, as well as die-hard fans of street art and fashion.

Krink: Graffiti, Art, and Invention By Craig Costello, Published by Rizzoli

Krink: Graffiti, Art, and Invention By Craig Costello, Published by Rizzoli

 

Show Notes

  • Craig Costello
  • KRINK
  • Taking Risks
  • Conservative on the risk tip
  • Minimized Risk
  • Keeping KRINK a Secret 
  • Drippy Tags
  • Didn’t write graffiti on trains in the 80s
  • Ink tags
  • Ditto machine
  • Mimeograph
  • Supermarket ink
  • Grew up in New York
  • Graffiti traditions
  • Making ink
  • Being resourceful
  • Graffiti zines
  • Skills Magazine #7
  • TAKI 183
  • Cornbread
  • Silver KRINK
  • The early process of making KRINK
  • Field testing the product
  • Stop racking 
  • ESPO
  • The Art of Getting Over
  • Alife
  • Futura and Stash Recon Store
  • Getting press
  • The Fader
  • Keeping costs down
  • Learning things the hard way
  • No plan 
  • Pigment in solvent 
  • Graffiti carries a lot of baggage
  • Minimal actions
  • The Red Door
  • Sculptural piece
  • Beyond the Streets
  • Scaling up using color 
  • Using fire extinguishers
  • Skating banks at JFK
  • Infamy (Film)
  • Kunle Martins “Earsnot”
  • IRAK
  • Dash Snow
  • Giant silver drippy tags
  • Controlling the narrative 
  • Keep things extremely simple
  • Canon G7
  • Curious Artist 
  • Ricardo Gonzalez – It’s A Living
  • Shantell Martin
  • Built in aesthetic 
  • “Don’t Blame the Tool, Blame the Fool”
  • Hand made in small batches
  • Keeping the standard
  • Quality Control 
  • Trust yourself
  • Self-doubt

~~~
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Art

Inside the Mind of Jim Tozzi

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Jim Tozzi

 

 

Jim and Amon sort of go off the rails talking about Wonder Showzen, PFFR, Bert’s Tit, Underground Comics, almost drowning, the Mystery of Picasso, food fights, Federico Fellini, Chuck Jones, puppets, sharpening your eye, sewing machines, Chewties and a bunch of other stuff.

More About Jim Tozzi

Instagram
Threadless

Jim Tozzi grew up in Everett, a city to the north of Boston. The most distinctive thing about this town was the smell of freshly roasted peanuts due to the Teddie Peanut Butter factory. The factory’s emblem, a grinning cartoon bear with a bucket, would be one of the first influences of advertising on Jim. He went to Everett public school: always an outsider, he preferred drawing weird cartoons and watching monster movies to playing sports.

Jim Tozzi

Jim Tozzi

In his early teens, Jim borrowed a super 8 camera from his Aunt and began experimenting. Lacking a tripod, he would tape the camera down onto the kitchen table and animate various toys, Star Wars figures and clay monsters. He also created a live action series starring his little sister as “Chico” the heavily mustachioed drug dealer who would meet an unlikely demise in every episode. Jim went on to study film and illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. He continued doing both animated and live action films creating a short film parody of an after school special called “Sunday School Girls” which tackled the subject of what Jesus really looked like.

Jim Tozzi

Jim Tozzi

Jim moved to New York and started working at Broadcast Arts inking and painting animation cels. He also started directing music videos for obscure alternative bands. One of the first was for Mercury Rev and featured Ron Jeremy as a floating space traveler. Jim approached Nick at Nite with his reel and some promo ideas; he was brought on to TV Land to come up with a new promo campaign. This campaign conceived, written and directed with his wife Vezna, developed into the award winning “Twip” series. “Twip” was an imaginary product in which it’s evolution was traced in commercial parodies from the early 1950′s through the 90′s. Now as a directing team, the “Tozzi’s” signed on to Bob Giraldi’s company and began directing spots for Miller Lite, Sprite and Florida’s anti-tobacco campaign. The “Tozzi’s” split up and Jim went solo; joining M-80 he directed an award winning campaign for Kellogg’s Rice Krispie Treats for Leo Burnett. He went on to direct comedy spots for Sony Playstation, Nick at Nite and Miller. In his free time Jim likes to draw, paint, take long quiet walks and is a member of the art collective PFFR. Jim is now signed with THEM and living in New York.

Jim Tozzi

Jim Tozzi

Part One Show Notes

Jim Tozzi

Part Two Show Notes

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