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Underrated Miami: Murals

Wynwood Walls 2017 Art Basel Collection
Photograph: John Parra

In Underrated Miami, we take a look at very cool Miami things that, for some strange reason, we don’t seem to appreciate as much as we should.

When did it become cool to roll your eyes at the very concept of murals in Miami? And why?

Have murals become a tad commercialized over the last few years? Sure. Marketing departments have had their hand in some, no doubt about it. Remember when Will Smith and the rest of the cast of the notoriously mediocre Suicide Squad popped over to Wynwood two years ago to pull back the curtain on their own sponsored mural? It was only slightly more exciting than the actual movie turned out to be.

But let’s, for a moment, consider the alternative to the mural: a wall! A plain, boring, grey freaking wall that’s literally about as exciting as…a wall, which is the least exciting thing we could think of to end that simile. Isn’t the spray-painted face of Jared Leto’s cringe-worthy joker still an upgrade on that?

“But,” the cynical Miamian might argue, “the Wynwood Walls are so crowded! Too many selfies! Too many tourists!” Well, guess what, you imaginary crybaby—there are plenty of dope murals outside of Wynwood. Little Haiti is full of awesome specimens, like Sweat Records’ very cool homage to music icons by CP1. Go west to Hialeah and check out the murals of the Leah Arts District too, gloriously free from marketing promotions of constipated superhero movies that were seemingly written by a distracted ferret.

A post shared by David Dogan (@francisdavidd) on

And, back to the Wynwood Walls for a moment. Just because they can be a bit crowded and full of selfie-snapping zombies doesn’t mean you still can’t enjoy them (and the rest of Wynwood’s murals). Sometimes you’ve got to elbow through a crowd to enjoy some world-class art! Have you ever tried to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre? You’ve got to fight, like, fourteen wiry French teens to even get close. It is not as empty as Jay-Z and Beyoncé would lead you to believe.

So, please, resist the temptation to take Miami’s murals for granted. From Wynwood to Hialeah, we’ve got some truly awesome outdoor art by both local and international artists. Very few places in not only the United States but the entire world have mural collections like us. Despite selfies and traffic and Will Smith’s inability to choose a good script, they should be celebrated.

 

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