A new book captures the fleeting life of street art in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood.
I’m in Miami Bitch!, by Miami-based photographer Andrew Kaufman, documents the walls and artists of Wynwood, the one-time Puerto Rican neighborhood north of downtown Miami that exploded into an art district in the mid-2000s, when abandoned warehouses began to be occupied by artists, restaurants and lounges, and investors began scooping up real estate.
While street art pervades the entire district, the neighborhood has received the most attention for its “Wynwood Walls,” three sprawling courtyards painted by some of the country’s top graffiti artists at the request of visionary developer Tony Goldman, who died last year of heart failure at age 68.
Armed with a bicycle, a skateboard and two small cameras, plus “all the film I could shove in the bag,” Kaufman said he began shooting artists and their works in the wider neighborhood because he realized photographs in books, magazines and the Internet were the only chance the art had at permanency.
Many of the images in his book already have met the end of their “run time” and have been tagged or painted over by other street artists or “buffed” and blocked out with paint by building owners and city workers.
Street artists with works in the book include Cite, Heist, King Slotz, Pinko, Art Cream Truck, Patch Whiskey, Flora, Charlie Brown, Flik, Kenny Scharf and Blink, among others.
Kaufman’s blog, along with Q&As with some of the artists, can be found at www.iminmiamibitch.net/blog/
His photo book can be purchased at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., in Coral Gables (305-442-4408; www.booksandbooks.com/coralgables) and Frangipani, 2516 NW 2nd Ave., Miami (305-573-1480; frangipanimiami.com).
Learn more about Wynwood at www.wynwoodmiami.com.