The most Miami mural at Wynwood Walls belongs to Tatiana Suarez’s topless mermaid, a redhead with wide, bottomless eyes whose body is cloaked in sea-grape leaves. A baby alligator grins from the mermaid’s shoulder.
It’s also Wynwood’s most relaxing mural, calling to Suarez’s mind visions of tall sea grapes on Key Biscayne, where she goes to decompress when she’s “feeling a little overwhelmed and stressed out.”
Still, relaxation in Miami? This week? That’s a comforting thought for Wynwood Walls, the outdoor street-art space with astroturf and boundless charm, which on Tuesday night debuted 12 murals by 12 artists to kick off Miami Art Week.
“There aren’t a lot of locals inside Wynwood Walls, so I wanted to bring a little Miami flavor to it,” says Suarez, a Little Haiti muralist and University of Miami graduate, admiring her mermaid in the dusky light.
Suarez’s mermaid transfixed the well-heeled VIPs who gathered to snap selfies with the mural, part of a showcase titled “Fear Less” that features 11 other national (Brooklyn) and international (Germany, Italy) artists. The new murals, many finished over Thanksgiving weekend, will go on view to the public starting Wednesday, Nov. 30.
Slight rainfall dappled the courtyard dragon sculptures and fitness-ball-size boulders designed by Japanese pioneer Ken Hiratsuka, but was ignored by visitors, too preoccupied with food stations that dished wine, rib-eye and caprese skewers. At 7 p.m., a saxophone cut through the din of courtyard chatter, and through wrought-iron gates came a musician in a burgundy tuxedo and navy-blue hat who danced through the crowd to join his six-piece jazz-funk band, Astro Soul, on a corner stage. Later, tennis star Venus Williams and model Petra Nemcova mingled with the crowd, while muralist Shepard Fairey (the Barack Obama “Hope” poster) donned a DJ hat and Iggy Pop T-shirt to spin music by Parliament Funkadelic and A Tribe Called Quest.
Fairey, whose wheat-pasted, red-and-gold mural of late visionary developer Tony Goldman is a Wynwood Walls fixture, says he’s mounting two new paintings this week. One is a 30-by-75-foot-wide mural at Mana Contemporary titled “Mother Nature on the Run,” which he describes as an “antagonistic piece about people with a lack of respect for the environment.”
“I’m trying to go both ways in my work, to celebrate something good and critique something bad,” Fairey says.
Lingerie Francaise at the Sagamore Hotel, Miami Beach
A pair of mannequins in French lingerie frame the automatic doors of the Sagamore Hotel like scantily clad guards for “Lingerie Francaise,” a fashion exhibit rounding up 150 years of women’s undergarments. At ease, guards. We’re here for journalistic reasons.
The show is the brainchild of Catherine Orman, a French fashion historian who raided the archives of 11 major brands – Aubade, Chantelle, Simone Pérèle – and plucked out 100 examples of corsets, girdles and bras, which decorate the walls of the Sagamore atrium and side gallery. The lingerie is paired with paintings and cartoons of women by seven French contemporary artists.
Orman, who originated the show in Paris in 2012, says the display traces lingerie’s history as a tight-fitting corset for French aristocracy in the 18th century to a lacy, erotic garment in the 20th century.
“Lingerie reveals a lot about the history of women and intimacy,” says Orman, her black-rimmed designer glasses glinting in the gallery. “I hope women see them and feel nostalgia for them. It is what millions of them wear every day.”
Wynwood Walls’ new murals will be on view 10 a.m. through midnight starting Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 2520 NW Second Ave., in Miami. between 25th and 26th streets. Admission is free. Go to TheWynwoodWalls.com.
Lingerie Francaise is open 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 30, through Tuesday, Dec. 6, at the Sagamore Hotel, 1671 Collins Ave., in Miami Beach. Free with RSVP to Eventbrite.com.