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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

Greg Miller talks Painting, Westerns, Surf Culture and The Wild Bunch

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Painting by Greg Miller

Painting by Greg Miller

Greg Miller and Amon met up in Chelsea to converse about painting, westerns, surf culture and his participation in the The Wild Bunch exhibition at the JoAnne Artman Gallery.

Show Notes

 

Painting by Greg Miller

Painting by Greg Miller

 

 

Painting by Greg Miller

Painting by Greg Miller

 

 

Painting by Greg Miller

Painting by Greg Miller

 

Artist Statement

Drawing from the diverse cultural and geographic makeup of his Californian roots, Greg Miller explores his relationship with the space he inhabits to communicate a particular urban experience. Working with both paint and collage, he constructs and deconstructs exploring the contradiction, ambiguity, and truth between urban streetscape and history.

Miller’s art is clever and cool. His abstracted backgrounds of drips, patterns, and phrases and the peeling back of layers provide a study in the impermanence of the things that surround us. His large-scale paintings and installations aim to make the most fleeting parts of American culture tangible. They grab us nostalgically, rousing us to enjoy the momentary beauty found in the impermanent parts of our lives. There is a fragile heroicness conveyed within the temporary nature of it all, especially within his construction of paper, wood, and natural materials, that gives Miller’s work liveliness and depth.

Greg Miller’s work is featured in numerous museum and private collections that have traveled internationally including those organized by the Charles Saatchi Collection and the Frederick R. Weisman Collection. The Get Go, a volume of his writings, photography and paintings, was published in 2010, and the first comprehensive monograph on the artist, Signs of the Nearly Actual, was published in 2008.

Miller spends his time between New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA.

~~~
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Art

Stephen Wilkes talks Passion, Magic and his documentary film Jay Myself

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Stephen Wilkes
Stephen Wilkes (L) and Jay Maisel (R). Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories.

 

Today’s guest on the show is artist, photographer and first time director Stephen Wilkes.  Stephen is well known for his photographs of Ellis Island, Bethlehem Steel as well as being the creator of the panoramic photo-series Day To Night. Stephen is also the director of the new documentary film Jay Myself now playing at Film Forum. If you enjoyed last week’s episode with Jay Maisel then you’re going to love this conversation.

Big Love and Shout Out to Susan Norget Film Promotion

Stephen Wilkes (L) and Jay Maisel (R). Credit: © Stephen Wilkes

Stephen Wilkes (L) and Jay Maisel (R). Credit: © Stephen Wilkes

~~~

Keep Up to Date with Stephen Wilkes

Website: https://stephenwilkes.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/swilkesphoto

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stephenwilkes/

 

Credit: © Stephen Wilkes

Credit: © Stephen Wilkes

~~~

Show Notes

JAY MYSELF -Official Trailer

Production companies: Mind Hive Films, Crooked Mile
Distributor:Oscilloscope
Director:
Stephen Wilkes
Screenwriter:Josh Alexander
Producers:
Henry Jacobson, Emma Tammi, Bette Wilkes
Executive producers:Stephen Wilkes, Jennie Wilkes, Michael Hirschmann
Directors of photography:
Stephen Wilkes,Jason Greene
Editor:Armando Croda
Composer:
Joel Goodman
Co-Executive Producer: Doug Blush
Additional Editing: Daniel Haworth
Music Supervisor:
Jonathan Finegold
Shout out to Chris!

Bethlehem Steel, Credit: © Stephen Wilkes

Bethlehem Steel, Credit: © Stephen Wilkes

Coney Island, New York, Credit: © Stephen Wilkes

Coney Island, New York, Credit: © Stephen Wilkes

~~~
We would love to hear your thoughts on the episode. Leave a comment on the Apple Podcast App and don’t forget to rate the show.

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Art

Jay Maisel talks 65 Years of Shooting Photography

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Jay Maisel
Jay Maisel in his Brooklyn Studio // Photography by Stephen Wilkes

Jay Maisel and Amon met up for a fireside chat deep in the heart of midtown Manhattan. In this episode they talk about light, color, gesture, Arthur Miller, cigars, buying the “The Bank” also known as 190 Bowery, shooting 65 years worth of photography, editing and a new documentary by Stephen Wilkes called Jay Myself.

 

Big Love and Shout Out to Susan Norget Film Promotion

"'Red

Stay Up to Date with Jay Maisel

Website: https://www.jaymaisel.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jaymaisel/

See the Film, Jay Myself: Film Forum

"'Man

~~~

Show Notes

 

"'Miles

  • “If you are not your own severest critic then you are your own worst enemy” Jay Maisel Quote
  • The difference between looking and seeing
  • Disassembling 190 Bowery
  • Drama vs. problem
  • Stephen Wilkes– Director & Photographer
  • Stephen Wilkes Website
  • Bob Kato– Professor & Art Director
  • Walk Slow
  • “It is not how much ground you cover it is what you see, it is what you look at…” Jay Maisel Quote
  • The Mercedes
  • New Yorkers are very kind
  • Almost New York
  • “New York is Manhattan.” Jay Maisel Quote
  • Rent in New York
  • Easier to live in New York
  • Milgrim Department Store
  • Jack Klein- Broker
  • Jasper Johns– American painter, sculptor and printmaker
  • Robert Indiana– Artist
  • Robert Rauschenberg– American painter and graphic artist
  • Provident Loan Society
  • Katz Delicatessen
  • Do you have more like this?
  • The best view of NY
  • I never took it for granted
  • St. Patrick’s Day 1966

 

"'First

 

"'Girl

  • “I want to make the poem out of the evidence.” – Arthur Miller Quote
  • Arthur Miller– American playwright, essayist
  • Composition and Framing
  • William Albert Allard– Photographer
  • Twining
  • Gesture
  • “Learn to see what is actually in front of you.” – Jay Maisel Quote
  • Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  • The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  • Ayn Rand– Russian American Writer and philosopher

~~~
We would love to hear your thoughts on the episode. Leave a comment on the Apple Podcast app and don’t forget to rate the show.

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