Miami's “Bill Cunningham” Documents the City's Cultural Roots

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Lorenzo Castro E.

Miami, 23 Nov. The artistic curator Barry Fellman plasmó in a book a testament to the "creative movement" emerged in Miami during the last decade, years in which this city in South Florida, “diverse and constantly changing,” as he said in an interview with Efe, has become erected as one of the cultural capitals of the world.

"Over the last 10 or 15 years there has been an explosion of new energy in the city," to EFE Fellman, present with a camera at the most significant local cultural events and whom many call "Bill Cunningham" from Miami, alluding to the famous trend hunter and photographer for The New York Times.

“Miami Creative, a decade of transformation”, published under Letter16 Press, is the name of the publication that collects more than 200 photographs taken by Fellman in the &#250 last ten years and which constitute a document of the "incredible period of time in which Miami has been transformed" and has developed “deep roots” in the arts and culture,” he said.

In the book “there is a feeling that art and culture provide us with a magical elixir that allows us to experience something together and really break down our differences,” he said. Fellman, with more than 30 years of experience and director of the Center for Visual Communication, a gallery of more than 10,000 square feet (3,000 square meters) in Wynwood, the Miami arts district.

Fellman, that wherever he goes he is always there. With a non-professional camera, he has recorded the radical transformation of that neighbourhood, which was then a degraded and dangerous industrial area and today houses luxury buildings and designer shops, as well as ; like other areas that have shaped the new cosmopolitan face of this city, where “some of the most interesting artists of the moment” have gone.

“Miami gives you possibilities, Miami is a place where your imagination can fly, it is a place where if you have an idea and you are tenacious enough they will listen to you,” said this curator, who was responsible for the photographic exhibitions of the Miami Art Center, what is now the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM).

He also highlighted the "significant investments" in the sector made by institutions such as The Knight Foundation, así as the work of "a dedicated group of artists and educators" local.

PROVOCATORY AND UNIFIING ART

Fellman's collection of art, photographs and art installations not only reflect his "true love" by Miami, where she was born & # 243 ;, but they certify that she has identified her “particular flavor”, as Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniela Levine Cava told EFE, who greeted & # 243; the "imprint" of the photographer in the growing local art community.

"We definitely need more Barrys in our community, someone who appreciates art across cultures, languages ​​and supports," the mayoress.

The qualities and spirit of this Florida city are present in the exhibition “The Miami Creative Movement”, curated by Fellman that will open& #225; for Miami Art Week, the set of international fairs and events that will take place starting next November 29 with Art Basel as the main course.

"One of the ideas behind the book and the exhibition is to reflect the power of our culture to create community, to give us joy and create connections when we go through the same experiences; that art provokes and really has the power to connect us with a place”, he affirmed. fellman.

NATURAL AND URBAN LANDSCAPES

The fifteen artists that are part of this collective exhibit works created in the last two years 241;os, that is, during the covid-19 pandemic.

If there is one feature that unifies them, it is, in addition to their traditional supports, mostly oils or acrylics on canvas, which appeal in vivid colors, reflecting in their own way the natural and urban landscape of Miami.

"Light, sound, movement, air, wind, breeze, all the elements of our natural and urban landscape are part of the paintings in the show" the curator, who with the selection of artists searched for; a balance between the spirit of Miami and the "quiet" and the confinement that forced the pandemic.

"Fluency is everything," to EFE the American Kathleen Staples, who exhibits two works in the sample, in which color and the “layers that create depth and mystery” they are characteristic elements.

Puerto Rican Carlos Betancourt exhibits “Landscape Reimagined”, a collage in which he addresses the syncretism of the Caribbean and Miami, a city that means “living in a world of fantasy”, as he said .

"Diego and Francisco" is the title of the impressionist-style painting that will be presentedá the Franco-American John Bailly, in which he addresses the transatlantic dialogue through the portrait of the Spaniard Francisco de Villareal and the Tequesta Indian Diego, both with the mouth of the Miami River in the background.

"Miami is a conglomeration of different cultural influences, and what is fascinating is that it continues to evolve," #243; the artist, who highlighted Fellman's role in that path.

The curator of the exhibition agrees that “the diversity and constant change of the city is part of its tissue. EFE

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