By John Hood
Nothing seems to be too big of a something to stop Anthony Spinello from doing anything he sets out to do. Nothing. Not a causeway. Not a time zone. Not an ocean. And most certainly not someone else’s notion of where a gallerist should place, no matter how high the waves made by his wake. See to Spinello, parameters are other peoples’ problems; some other people anyway. And he’s too busy jumping over blue moons to fret their “how dare you?”
Make that an ocean full of blue moons, each representing a proverbial once. Six years ago Spinello’s namesake gallery was among the first to see the future of Wynwood belonged to those bold enough to create it, and he dared a then-derelict Northwest Second Avenue to prove it too. When Wynwood was just about to bloom into a bona fide boom, he sought the seriousness of a Design District side street, and stayed to see the rise of a R. Buckminster Fuller Geodesic Dome fall sway to blockbusting buyout by Louis Vuitton. Now Spinello’s crossed another line, this time into the Wilds West of Wynwood, where Spinello Projects occupies the front and center space of the already renowned Gesamtkunstwerk Building.
Of course this peripatetic gallerist’s go-go isn’t limited to neighborhood hopscotch on the sidewalks of Miami. In fact, just over the past year or so alone, Spinello has in some way been in on some kinda action everywhere from Bal Harbour (where Spinello Projects artist Santiago Rubino’s “Eyes of the Stars” series struck wonder at both the St. Regis and Jimmy Choo) to Berlin (where Agustina Woodgate talked shop KW Institute for Contemporary Art a month after the two collided at Kulturpark). More tellingly perhaps, at least as far as global go-go is concerned, Spinello himself was featured (along with Magic City maverick Bhakti Baxter) in Ben Sherman’s “Brighton to Tokyo”, a campaign with enough new modernist cool to be featured in Dazed & Confused.
As you might suspect, even at home in the MIA Spinello’s goes above and beyond the usual show and tell. Recently his Gesamtkunstwerk space had Sender Collection curator Sara Aibel moderate a chat with Agustina Woodgate coincident with the encore showing of her New Landscapes, which itself was all the talk of the last Art Basel Miami Beach, and not simply because the exhibition marked the first time a Miami artist soloed at Art Positions either. A second cross-causeway wow found Woodgate’s work surround-screening an A-List crowd of art ops at HaVen’s Second Sunday, where the artstar was toasted by the likes of Bass Museum Director Silvia Cubina, Miami-Dade County Art in Public Places Artists and Communications Manager Brandi Reddick, as well as the kinda select set of top shelf collectors only museum boards generally see in one sitting.
While Woodgate will continue apace when her monumental “No Rain, No Rainbows” stuffed animal-skin rug shows alongside such heavyweights as Chuck Close and Ernesto Neto at the Denver Art Museum’s Material World come March, the most local-global vocal will be on the Valentine’s Day opening of the first Spinello Projects solo exhibition of Miami-based Croatian artist Sinisa Kukec. Kukec is currently being featured in the Miami Art Museum’s name-making New Work Miami, a sure-fire sign that the upcoming L O V E L I K E T H E U N I V E R S E will find his name being made — indelibly.
For Spinello though, making a name for art is simply part of the game. And if the play calls for crossing causeways or oceans or time zones, well, that’s just all in a game’s win. Something to seriously consider the next time someone suggests coloring within the given lines.