Product/81

Cause living just isn’t enough.

By Natology

Contemporary art is a constant reflection of culture. Its story lines are based on existing topics that dance around the approval or disapproval of what is and what is not. This waltz circulates around the nucleus of the collective consciousness where aesthetics don’t stray too far from home. There is no doubt that great work can come from that center, but it can only be as great as that which it surrounds. In order to do things differently there needs to be space for an untapped inspiration that can only be found when stepping away from the central thought. I recently had the honor of seeing what I consider to be one of the best shows I’ve seen, not just all year but in general.  Cause living just isn’t enough, solo exhibition by Hugo Montoya at Guccivuitton Gallery in Miami, Florida.

First, let’s discuss the location. Guccivuitton Gallery is an avant-garde creative space tucked away to the north of the arts districts. Its location feels real and integrated within the city of Miami in a way that really allows for cultural inspirations to fill the space, while creating a distance from the nucleus that allows for the expansion of thought. This is a hidden treasure in the Miami art scene that should not be overlooked, in fact all eyes should play close attention to this space.

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Hugo and I have been friends for nearly ten years. We went to school together and I have forever been a fan of his work. It’s been a long time since he’s had a show and I can see why. There’s been a nursing of thought and an evolution of ideas far ahead of their time. He gave me the honor of a personal walk through the show last week, sharing the story behind each piece, all of which are found objects adapted and placed with careful precision. For an exhibition strong enough to stand any interpretation, the stories behind the scenes are what add to its value. It’s the culmination of details and the perfection of every angle in which you experience the art.

There’s a small center for worship next door to Guccivuitton, which creates a magical entrance into the space, should you catch it at the right time. We arrived at the space around 7:30pm, well after sunset but still in time for the church choir. As we walked up to the gallery the echos of Haitian gospel increased in volume and you could feel the energy surround the gallery’s entrance. Hugo spent six weeks in the gallery, something that artists don’t regularly have a chance to do. The energy of the gospel choir filled the space that night just as it did throughout those six weeks. From every angle this show presents a new perspective, regardless of the stories behind it or the academic interpretations. It has the ability to stand alone.
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Al Mal Tiempo, Buena Cara

Product/81 is in a unique position in Wynwood. We’re a creative lab, not a gallery. Therefore, nothing is for sale. Since we’re not worried about selling art, we can do unconventional things like covering our walls in rainbow colored vinyl skulls offset by black typhoons.

Al Mal Tiempo, Buena Cara roughly translates to “show your best face in bad times.” The collaboration between Pedro Varela of Brazil and Maria Isabel Rueda of Colombia was our humble contribution to Art Basel. This video show’s just a fraction of the hard work, thought and soul put into the exhibition.

The One and Only Niki Em Hails the First Annual HALLOWYNWOOD

Halloween comes around but once a year; the First Annual HALLOWYNWOOD, in contrast, happens but once in a lifetime. That’s why all the kooky cool creatives who live, work and/or play in the ‘hood known as Wynwood will be getting their spook on at The Armory this Saturday night. The way Niki Em explains it, we can all expect to have the single most fabulous fright night of our wild lives. Read on, you ghoulish guys and gals!

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There Go-Go’s the Neighborhood

The District Factory Chicks Wing it to Wynwood

Just when you thought everything under the moon and the stars and the sun had been done with regards to Art Walk, along comes a couple of with-it chicks intent on making everybody think twice the next time they wanna jump to assumption. We’re talkin’ ‘bout the kinda tag team that puts the awesome in twosome, dig? A pairing so perfect you’d suspect it was designed by a top shelf chef to fit with his favorite wine. Only in this case it’s a merging of fashion and art and music to the fine food.

We mean Grace M. Castro and Chelsea Conklin, the dynamic duo behind The District Factory, who’ve decided to wing south a few blocks in order to set up a promising-looking something else called The Wynwood Squat. Folks who’ve flown with the ever-on-the-go gals know full well that this won’t be the first time they’ve put together a mad happening of a mashup; you can bet your proverbial bottom dollar that this won’t be the last time they do so either. Culture Designers decided to get with the chicks before they reach the stratosphere.

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Krisp Doubles Up the Action this Second Saturday

They said it couldn’t be done. Which was the wrong thing to say if they really didn’t want it to happen. See there’s a certain set of folks who take “No” for a green light and use doubt as if it were ammunition. To these types saying something can’t be done is akin to giving ‘em a back-handed push forward toward a follow-through; a follow-through those naysayers nayed in the first place.

Okay, so we hyperbolize. This really didn’t happen like that at all. When the Krisp cat Dean Taha first got with Product/81 point men Joel Fernandez and Alex Fernandez-Casais about having the band play the latter’s infamous Wynwood art house, nobody said anything couldn’t be done — they all just agreed it couldn’t be done then. Why? Krisp was on a hiatus. That’s why. Not surprising since the lads had spent the better part of their two year existence wowing Miamians in every joint that would have ‘em. So as much as the keen young guns wanted to step up to the stage for the opening of Brian Butler’s wowful and whimsical Fordistas 8Let’s Get Lost, the time just wasn’t right.

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Britto Makes a Brilliant Comeback

By now you’ve undoubtedly heard word of last week’s graffiti bombing of Britto’s Wynwood headquarters, after all, everyone from Beached Miami (who had it first) to WSVN (who had it in first-person) has covered the damn thing.

At Beached the question arose about whether or not such an act was deserved, let alone warranted, with most folks claiming it was wrong to mar the man’s building, no matter what one feels about his art. (Since this attack seemed personal, it seemed superfluous to note that nearly every Wynwood building gets bombed at one time or another.)

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