by Ahmed Fakhr

Miami may conjure up postcard-perfect images of sunny beaches and sexy nightlife for many people, but for the past decade, the cosmopolitan South Florida city has quietly become a mecca for those on the prowl for cutting-edge art. With new museums and Art Basel Miami Beach attracting jet setters and art-world insiders, Miami is becoming a destination for global collectors looking for a multimillion-dollar Jeff Koons sculpture or one-off by Gerhard Richter. While some opt for the hallowed white-walled galleries to sip white wine, other local artists continue to gain notoriety when by taking to the streets to paint huge murals on bare walls with cans of spray paint. This graffiti explosion was the creation of the street art scene in Wynwood

In 2007, Wynwood was a rundown textile and manufacturing area. Then a cohort of street artists decided to bring attention to their neighborhood, but as a way to establish their own art. Slowly the area transformed into a haven for creative people looking for a way to express themselves. Soon enough, a developer purchased the properties and capitalized on the growing art culture in the gentrifying area now known as the Wynwood Arts District. While some were thrilled with the newfound injection of capital, others remained skeptical about the change.

Native Robert de los Rios, founder of the RAW project, has been entrenched in street art scene in Miami for years, so he used this opportunity as a way bring art to underfunded schools in the area. “Art budgets for schools in the Wynwood area were slashed to zero,” Rios says. So he decided to approach the area school district and street artists from around the world to paint murals on the indoor and outdoor walls of the school. By doing so, Rios hoped this would jumpstart the issue of funding art in schools again and to inspire kids’ creativity. “They felt like they were coming to a prison before,” he says. “But now they come to school excited and happy.”

The outdoor walls at Wynwood’s Jose De Diego Middle School have been transformed into huge canvases, each meticulously painted, with some murals focusing on typography – inspirational statements, like “Believe” – and others featuring more illustrative work. While Rios prides himself in being able to bring an international graffiti scene together to transform the aesthetic of the school, he also collaborated with multiple Miami artists – Ahol Sniffs Glue, Typoe, Santiago Rubino and FL.Mingo – to bring challenging concepts to the school’s campus.

Typoe, one third of an art collective known as Primary Flight, along with Cristina Gonzalez and Books Bischof, started in Wynwood when Art Basel launched in 2007. Having no luck at the fair, the trio decided street art was more lucrative. “We were just getting the exposure for ourselves,” Bischof explains. “It was born out of necessity, and that’s the foundation of its success. It was needed.” Now they have a gallery space in the Design District and Typoe receives commissions to create art for various clients, while Bischof and Gonzalez have moved onto to artist representation.

Ahol Sniffs Glue (real name David Anasagasti), whose signature mark is repeated spray-painted droopy eyes, started painting “for the fun, for the fame, for the rush.” Santiago Rubino, born in Argentina, has a more melancholic tone and he attempts to explore the mysteries of life, leaving the viewer to question everything. “I always challenge myself … it’s all problem solving,” he says, referring to himself as a “masochist.”

While Typoe, Ahol and Rubino have switched mediums and currently focus on selling their artwork to collectors via indoor galleries, some street artists still prefer creating their work in a quasi-legal environment. FL.Mingo, for example, still works in the streets by tagging in Miami train yards.

FL.Mingo has remained anonymous to this date since, for her, tagging is her primary medium. “This is illegal, and I’ve already been to jail for it,” she tells Rolling Stone, while keeping her face covered and asking for her identity to be kept secret. “I have to stay anonymous, my face especially. I can’t put my face out there. … They’d be knocking at my door tomorrow.” She continues to use her flamingo with a crown symbol because she says she needed something more recognizable and more “Miami.” FL.Mingo artwork is still featured at the Wynwood Walls area, but to Mingo, that’s not the real Wynwood.

“It’s mostly out-of-towners painting murals,” she says. “When we were painting it, it was illegal graffiti all over the place. You can have Wynwood, but we still have the rest of Dade County. … I’m not going to forget where I came from.”


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Community. It’s always been at the core of this magazine’s existence. It’s what has helped get us to our eleventh printed issue; it’s what inspires us to keep creating; it’s what fuels our desire to collaborate. While amadeus started off as a small project, it’s always been a project based on community and collaboration, and has always functioned as a space for artists to present their work and express their creativity, and to design a network through which people working in different disciplines can easily access new information, ideas and each other. We see this magazine as an opportunity to associate and share resources with other like-minded artists and creatives who are interested in the collaborative nature of what we do. Three years later, we’re happy to continue to propagate our thriving community and culture, and are even more elated to see the roots of this magazine grow deeper, as the de nition of what amadeus truly is expands beyond the label of just a ”print magazine.”

Bijou Karman, Bonethrower, Boo Johnson, Edward Cushenberry, Group Partner, Kelly Breez, LA Qoolside, Never Made, Scotty Stopnik, Sean Maung, Tag Christof

Purchase your very own copy to cuddle with at the link.



Excited to have Jay Howell in town for our Artist in House Residency Program at Soho Beach House.

Jay Howell is an all around kind dude that lives in Los Angeles with his rescue dog, Street Dog. When he’s not illustrating for Vans or drawing skateboards he can be seen on the streets fuckin’ around and sayin’ classic shit. Jay designed the main characters for Fox’s hit show, Bob’s Burgers. He is currently working as an Executive Producer, Co-Creator and Art Director on Sanjay and Craig an animated children’s show for Nickelodeon.

Exposed to punk music early in life by his older sister, the Punk community immediately inspiredHowell to develop a deep love for skateboarding and D.I.Y. ethos. Jay began making his own art, self-published zines, and drawing graphics for skateboards. His unique style, irreverent humor, and funny characters are recognized internationally and have been exhibited around the world, from Slow Culture Gallery in Los Angeles to Colette in Paris.

“Punks Git Cut,” an anthology that includes reprints of his work from his punk-themed zines from the past 20 years has recently been published and currently available through Last Gasp Publishing.

Soho’s Artist-in-House residency program is organized in partnership with Primary, a multifaceted creative organization / art space that explores and promotes various forms of aesthetic expression from both established and emerging contemporary artists, within the gallery context and beyond. Based in the Miami Design District, PRIMARY works to continually expand the expectations of the contemporary art world, and to foster new, unexpected conversations between artists and the public.



Primary, Miami presents a group exhibition titled ‘The Motion of Movements’, through June 24, 2017.

The exhibition showcases new works by Carlos Betancourt, Ronald Moran, Deon Rubi, Ben Pederson, Wade Schaming, Gavin Perry, Manny Prieres, and Keenen/Riley. Through an ongoing series of internal conversations at the gallery, the nature of movement(s) is once again explored. English documentarian Adam Curtis sums up our age as having “retreated – possibly into culture – but also into a never-never land where everything has been emotionalized, rather than confronting issues of power.” With a revived fascination for various forms of balance and movement(s) – creatively, socially, and politically – these works consider the tipping point and challenge the idea of movement(s) or the lack there of. True to form, movement(s) will continue to fluctuate, through the rejection of logic and reason, in the name of artistic expression, responding to inequality, in an effort to advance a power struggle, regardless of its nobility.


Photo Courtesy of Monica McGivern

The stone building on the corner of NE 39th Street and North Miami Avenue looks just as swanky as any other showroom in the high-end haven of the Design District. But there’s one major difference: Inside, instead of handbags and shoes more expensive than your monthly rent, there’s art. Really good art, actually. This is the new home of Primary Projects, the space started by the Primary Flight crew shortly after it made waves by bringing a massive installation of murals to Wynwood. (Look how that worked out.) Primary Projects ran a small space on the other side of the Design District for several years and then spent a brief time in downtown Miami before returning to its original neighborhood in a newly luxurious form. Few local artists have the chance to exhibit their work in a gallery with tall, retail-style windows and a prime position among the 1 percenters, but that’s exactly what Primary offers. Since it opened at its new address in September 2016, it has shown works by Miami stars such as Autumn Casey, Kelly Breez, and Beatriz Monteavaro. And though the building melds effortlessly into the Design District landscape, Primary’s artists and curators aren’t trying to blend in. Just imagine high-strung shoppers with Louis Vuitton bags accidentally wandering into a recent exhibit of fake newspaper pages with political headlines reading “Fuck It Will Set You Free.” It’s a lovely idea.



When The Standard Spa, Miami Beach opened eleven years ago, Miami looked very different from the city it is today. South Beach was the heartbeat of Miami’s culture, with its eccentric mix of art deco architecture, scantily dressed beach goers, glitzy night life, and loud music pumping through the night. Since then, the city has gone through a radical cultural evolution and has become one of the most significant design and art hubs in the world, and The Design District is at the center of this nucleus of change. Located on the other side of the bridges leading to South Beach, this neighborhood holds some of the city’s greatest design showrooms, galleries, museums, shops, restaurants, and cafés. We explored every corner of the bourgeoning area to narrow down our favorite spots. 

Primary Projects

This multifaceted organization defies the constraints of the classic gallery construct. Primary Projects offers a platform for edgy, artistic expression from both established and up-and-coming creatives within and outside gallery walls. A refreshing break from the commercialization of galleries, their, at times, controversial and gritty street aesthetics challenge our current conceptions of contemporary art by fostering group and solo projects that fluctuate from the forbidden to the sublime. 

Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami

As one of the Design District’s main art institutions, ICA Miami dedicates itself to continued experimentation in contemporary art. What exactly makes the ICA so singular? It provides a unique, international platform for emerging local and under-recognized artists within an ever-changing exhibition and program calendar that seeks to reflect the cultural and artistic landscape of both local and international creatives. Oh, and it’s free. December 1, 2017 marks the launch of ICA Miami’s new, permanent home featuring 20,000 square feet of multifaceted exhibition space and a 15,000 square foot sculpture garden. 

De la Cruz Collection

Miami’s de la Cruz Collection is the result of billionaire art lovers opening their private collection to the world and transforming it into one of Miami’s most impressive art institutes. Cuban collectors Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz are among the patrons seeking to make Miami an intellectual art capital. Their 30,000-square-foot contemporary art space acts as an extension of their home, housing their vast collection of sculptures, paintings, and installations by the most sought after artists of today. Their nurturing, artistic vision gives way to a flux of exhibitions that turn the cultural lens on itself; alongside artist-led workshops, forums, and lectures that bring awareness to the vast interpretations of the visual arts. Like the ICA, it’s free to the public.

Locust Projects

Imagine art freed from the constraints of sales and gallery fees, where artists can fully experiment and express themselves outside the limitations of conventional exhibition spaces. Locust Projects makes this dream a reality for artists. Once finding its roots in a converted warehouse space, they have evolved into one of Miami’s top art institutions with the backing of the Andy Warhol Foundation. Local and international artists are invited to create ambitious site-specific projects and installations as an extension of their personal work. 

Swampspace Gallery

This alternative, artist-run creative space and venue is Miami’s un-gallery, and was founded when artist and sculptor Oliver Sanchez welcomed artists into his unused studio space. In response to the need for community-based art spaces, Swampspace puts forth innovative visual and performance arts to create unique experiences that walk the line between sophistication and raw, unraveled ingenuity. It is certain to quench the palates of thirsting art enthusiasts from all perspectives and backgrounds. 

Buckminster Fuller Fly’s Eye Dome, 1978-2014    

The creation of this interactive sculpture, dubbed the “autonomous dwelling machine” by its original creator, spans decades. American architect and designer Buckminster Fuller patented the design in the ’60s and died before it was ever finished. Over 50 years later, Fuller’s vision was realized. The 24-foot prototype, considered a forerunner for today’s green architecture movement, sits at the center of the Design District as a focal point of inspiration. 

Konstantin Grcic’s Netscape, 2010/2014

German industrial designer Konstantin Grcic’s interactive installation makes you feel suspended from a metal cobweb entangled in tropical vines. His innovative design invites you into a moment of calm away from the overwhelming density of the Design District. Relax, sit back, and gently swing in Grcic’s hammock-like wire seats delicately suspended from a six-point metal structure. Just a warning: It might be hard to get up again

Xavier Veilhan’s Le Corbusier, 2013

This is where you go to get your dose of Corbusier loving surrealism. The endless complexity of the artist’s personal life, ripe with passion and controversy, has been encapsulated in a larger-than-life “bust” executed by French artist Xavier Veilhan. He challenges the balance between simplicity and scale, depicting the iconic Corbusier with pen in hand, representing the act of drawing as the perfect bridge between the prolific artist’s multifaceted passions of architecture, drawing, writing, and design. 

Zaha Hadid’s Elastika, 2005

The Elastika installation was commissioned after the late architect, Zaha Hadid, was given the first ever “Designer of the Year” award. As a representation of Hadid’s endless contribution to the realm of design, her web-like installation stretches across the atrium of the multi-storied Moore building. Hadid’s signature organically flowing aesthetics offers a beautiful contrast with the building’s art deco roots. It is the ultimate extrusion of the complex, spacial concepts like connectivity and fluidity that are so inherent within her architectural creations.  


Words by Nicole Martinez

Patrons who collect art would likely characterize the process as capricious and emotion-driven: They may recount an experience in which their decision to purchase the work was made suddenly and on impulse as they toured a gallery or artist’s studio, describing a sort of ‘eureka’ moment that may frequently occur while shopping for shoes, but rarely does when purchasing artwork worth thousands and thousands of dollars.

The reality is a bit different. While the decision to collect art or purchase a particular work can often be speculative, most experienced collectors take their time identifying artists and upcoming gallery shows before making the decision to purchase a work. The collecting process can be emotion-based, to be sure – it’s important to wholly identify with and love the work – but most collectors, particularly those who are just starting out, don’t take the decision to collect art lightly.

Drawing up a playbook to learn to collect art is a valuable tool for both aspiring collectors, emerging artists and gallery professionals managing an art business. Whether you want to learn how to collect art, or you wish to leverage that knowledge and build a better marketing platform for generating sales of your work or your gallery’s work, understanding the basic tenets of art collecting can help develop a detailed roadmap for both selling and owning artwork.

Recognizing that collecting art is inherently complex, a panel of experts gathered at Miami’s PRIMARY Projects last month to shed some light on the process. Hosted in partnership with the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, a new contemporary art institution being erected in Miami’s Design District neighborhood, the Art Collecting 101 panel welcomed artists, art entrepreneurs and aspiring collectors who wanted to deepen their understanding of the business. The panel welcomed Jimena Guijarro, an independent art consultant that specializes in Latin American art; Christina Gonzalez, one of the co-founders of PRIMARY Projects, one of Miami’s longest-established local galleries; and Valentina Garcia, a Latin American art specialist and Associate Vice President of Phillip’s Auction House.

Guijarro noted that most who wish to collect art are often hesitant to do so because they fear its unaffordable. In reality, there are varying price points and artistic disciplines that make art collecting totally accessible. “The decision to purchase a young, emerging artist means that you’re part of their success,” said Guijarro. “In a lot of ways, you’re doing your part to advance their career by collecting them in the first place.”

Naturally, determining whether or not the art you collect will have some sort of resale value in the future is a consideration for many starting to collect art. But almost all panelists agree that your decision to collect art – at least initially – shouldn’t be viewed as an investment strategy. Instead, young collectors should purchase first based on their tastes, while considering the potential artists have to develop fruitful art careers.

Before You Collect Art, Develop a Roadmap

Before setting out on a mission to collect art, there are a variety of steps you can take to simplify the process. Setting clear-cut expectations for your collecting goal will also allow the creative professionals to provide better guidance.

To begin with, young collectors should determine what they want their collection to say about them. Whether that means a collector chooses to purchase artworks from a certain region or time frame – Russian artists working in the late 20th century, for example – or choosing to collect art that reflects a certain aesthetic taste or complements your home. “It’s important to find your own voice in this process,” said Garcia. “Investigate a movement, build a narrative, tell a story about your life with the work you collect.”

Part of building that narrative is determining which movements or works best represent your tastes. Gonzalez suggested getting out in your community to appreciate the type of work being made both locally and abroad. Visiting museums can give you a sense of the direction the art world is heading while spending time in your local galleries or artist-run institutions can help collectors draw an analysis as to some of the most interesting, exciting, or in-demand work.

Collectors should also determine who their partners will be in the process. Will they work with a gallery or an art consultant or similar art business? Will they purchase directly from an artist, or spend time scouting art fairs? Guijarro suggested that when shopping for artwork, a potential buyer should have a neutral third party coming along for the ride to act as a buffer between gallery or artist and collector. Your buffer can ask questions and provide a neutral opinion when determining whether to purchase an artwork – this can be a friend, or a significant other, or even an artist, who can provide outside knowledge of the complexity of the work and an analysis of the value of the work and the time it likely took to produce it.

Examine the Artist’s Potential for Success Before You Collect Art

The panelists agreed that determining an artist’s potential for success within the art market will be a key factor when deciding whether to collect art. Take a look at the artist’s CV to have a better understanding of who they are as an artist: Where did the artist study? Has he or she had any solo shows? Have they participated in group shows? Have they completed a residency? Won any juried competitions? Has their work been featured in any press?

“Obviously, with a younger artist, their CV won’t be that long,” said Guijarro, “but that doesn’t necessarily you shouldn’t purchase their work.” Instead, panelists suggest you do your research – find artists whose careers have taken off, and look to which CV items they may have in common with your younger emerging artist. Figure out whether the residencies, museums, and galleries they’ve collaborated with are worth their weight.

In addition, take a critical look at the artist’s entire body of work. Is it evolving? Is the work reactionary and provocative? Would you determine that their entire body of work is consistent? Understanding how the artist might be growing into themselves is a useful way to determine whether or not they’ll continue to flourish, and ideally, you’ll want to spend some time appreciating that before making the decision to collect art.

The panelists also cautioned collectors against believing the hype if it seems that there’s simply too much chatter swirling around an artist. “It’s often easy to spot fads in art, and that’s when I would say you should be weary,” said Gonzalez. Instead, think about whether the artist is getting attention because of shock value, or whether his work is genuinely meaningful.

Finally, the panelists also noted that collectors can play a role in the success of an artist’s career. “Introduce the artist to your friends, talk about the work you collect in conversation, and be a part of their career,” said Guijarro.

Artists can also benefit from understanding these tips if used as a means of approaching their career. Artists should understand that collectors will look to their CVs and artist bios in an effort to determine whether or not the artist is marketable enough to acquire. Artists should take the time to thoughtfully craft their CVs and bios, consider which residencies are the most sought-after and significant, and spend some time reaching out to arts journalists in their community as a means of obtaining press placement. Invite gallerists and journalists to your studio, get involved with your local museums, and spend a good portion of your time researching artist residencies and other enrichment programs that can catapult your career. Get to know your collectors and form a relationship with them that encourages the promotion of your work.

Determine Where You Want to Purchase Artwork

When embarking on a decision to collect art, determine where you’ll feel most comfortable doing so. Do you prefer to purchase from a gallery or an artist? Will you attend art fairs to determine what you want to buy? Or do you want to experience the thrill of purchasing at auction?

There are different types of strategies depending on where you want to buy. If a collector is going the gallery route, then they should take their time and cultivate a relationship with the gallery owner. Collectors should feel like their gallery advisors are approachable and have their best interests in mind.

“The ideal situation is one in which you aren’t afraid to ask questions, and have complete confidence and trust,” said Gonzalez. “People think we only care about the fee, but that’s simply not true. She adds that many galleries often organize walk-throughs of new shows, in an effort to help potential buyers have some deeper context of the work and the artist’s intention.

Purchasing at auction, on the other hand, means that the collector should have a pretty good handle on the art marketplace. “There’s more lead time, so you should already know the game and the facts about the artist and the work being sold,” said Garcia. Garcia cautioned that collectors should keep in mind that most artists at auction are often past the point of ’emerging’ and are likely mid-career, which means works at auction are often more expensive. On the flip side, that makes the artwork a safer investment bet.

One of the easiest ways to collect art is by visiting art fairs. Since they’re planned far in advance, collectors have plenty of lead time to determine which galleries will attend and whose work they’ll show. That means collectors often have plenty of time to research participating galleries and artists, which allows them to hone in on the work they’d like to collect and the price tag that usually accompanies it. Often times, fairs organize special tours through the fair, which also allows the collector to become acquainted with artists and works they may have overlooked.

In addition, art fairs offer a unique bargaining opportunity. Many collectors attend early on to determine what they like, and wait until the fair is about to close to make their offer. “If you wait until the end of the fair, there’s more room to negotiate,” said Guijarro.

It’s a good strategy, and one art business owners should consider, too. Pricing your work higher at the outset gives you more room to negotiate at the end. Of course, you’ll need to walk a fine line – you don’t want to scare a potential collector away with an outrageous price point. Art fairs are also a good opportunity to meet and network with new collectors, so take your time approaching unknown faces and don’t shy away from spending too much time with any one visitor. Often times, art business owners view art fairs as crunch time, and therefore spend most of the time chatting with “serious” collectors only. However, not giving a visitor a good amount of face time can mean the loss of a future buyer.

Collector, Gallery or Artist? Consider These Tips for Every Endeavor

The art market is inherently symbiotic, and collectors, gallerists, artists and other art business owners would do well to analyze how the strategies offered by this collecting panel can be applied to their own art business. Artists should take the time to craft their bios and CVs and make career decisions based on the likelihood that a certain move will offer big rewards. Collectors want to tell a story through the work they collect: Understand that telling your own story effectively will likely translate to a higher probability of success.

Galleries, in turn, need to be aware of what makes collectors feel engaged and encouraged to collect art. Take the time to answer questions, tow the line between forceful and firm when making sales, and consider a collector’s negotiation strategies when shopping at a fair.

The most important thing to remember throughout the process, though, is that it should be an immersive and highly personal experience. “Figure out what you like,” said Guijarro, “then get lots of good advice.”


Been keeping this quiet for a year now, finally ready to announce Kelly Breez’s collaboration with OBEY. Kelly Breez, the feature of the latest OBEY Artist Series – a multi-disciplinary artist and tropical person who lives and works in Miami. Some people call her the “Beverage Lord”.

Working mostly monochromatically, she weaves a sharp eye for subtle humor into her work, acting as a mirror to the absurdities of life. Breez has an eye for details: she notices everything. She’s a sponge for the nuance of the unpredictable tropical wasteland she calls home. Breez finds herself also influenced by Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec, Henry Darger, Mary Blair, Rick Froberg and David Hockney.

Get wavy with the Kelly Breez Artist Series on