Art, Community, Edge

Art Wynwood diverse works feature common theme of tumultuous social climate

Hunter Crenian // Senior Photographer

Wynwood bustled with vibrant works of art, crowds and sounds even more than usual during its Art Wynwood festival last weekend. The event, which returned to the urban-art paradise for the sixth year in a row, sets itself apart from Art Basel with its new approach to showcasing contemporary art.

The artwork highlighted the new, underground street spin on classic art forms like pop art, surrealism and collage.

While the works featured came from over 50 galleries all around the world, including countries like Russia, Cuba and Argentina, one clear theme presided within all of the works: tumultuous political climate.

Photographs depicted immigrants en route for a better life. A series of aggressive capital words and an image of a barely visible, faded Cuban flag amid a wide field of grass expressed the chaos of the current political environment.

“Black Book” by Christopher Wool. Screenprint. Shellie Frai // Contributing Photographer

Los Angeles-based artist Edwin Baker painted a somber scene including a burned bridge, the New York City skyline and ghostly imagery set against a night sky.

Edwin Baker stands next to his painting “Every Struggle.” Shellie Frai // Contributing Photographer

“The painting is about our struggle, the struggle everyone goes through,” Baker said.

Baker’s idea of society’s everyday struggle was mirrored in a more hopeful light in another section of the fair. In the tent, a wing called “Cernuda Arte Latin American Art” showcased over 40 Latino artists’ work.

One of the most memorable paintings in the wing was a 90-by-28-inch canvas oil painting by Roberto Fabelo, titled “Persistence.”

The painting depicts a father and two sons bracing rough currents to get to a mother and child. At the bottom of the painting are thin cursive words that could be read like a mantra: “persistence, persistence, persistence.”

“Persistence” by Roberto Fabelo. Oil on canvas. Shellie Frai // Contributing Photographer

The notion of never giving up and striving to reach success during times of stress came up in not only Fabelo’s paintings, but also in artist Cey Adams’ famous American flag collages.

Artist Cey Adams stands in front of his American Flag collection. Shellie Frai // Contributing Photographer

Adams used America’s most iconic symbol to tell a story of unity and empowerment.

“This piece is symbolic of a better life, of gratitude. It is about us,” Adams said.

Art Wynwood’s diverse approach to the current divisive social climate allowed the fair attendees to learn new stories from people of all backgrounds and gain new perspectives on what it means to be not only American, Cuban or Russian, but human.

February 22, 2017


Shellie Frai

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