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Art Basel 2017: Wynwood Walls debuts 12 'humanKIND' murals

The most attention-grabbing new mural at Wynwood Walls bears a simple message: “Resist. The mural’s visuals are also direct: President Trump in baby diapers wielding a tiki torch. The Statue of Liberty drowning in a pit of magma. The White House engulfed in flames.

Spray-painted in giant block letters across a 30-foot wall, “Resist” is the defiant entry from New York-based graffiti artist Lady Pink, a street-art pioneer who starred in the 1983 cult-classic film “Wild Style,” which spotlighted the urban grit of New York’s nascent hip-hop and graffiti scenes.

Invited VIPs giggled, pointed at Trump and snapped selfies with “Resist” on Tuesday, Dec. 15, when Wynwood Walls debuted 12 murals and sculptures by 12 artists for Art Basel 2017.

For Lady Pink, the artist moniker of Sandra Fabara, “Resist” is an unambiguous idea, a call to action.

“It’s a simple message anyone can identify with,” Lady Pink says, admiring the picketing protesters and border walls depicted in the mural. “I want my work now to be sensitive to a community, to be art that matters to the people, for everybody. I love this image. You have to draw what you love.”

Punctuated with visions of compassion, humanity, childlike playfulness and empathy, the murals and sculptures were part of a showcase titled “humanKIND” that organizers unveiled at a glitzy private dinner. Artists national (New York) and not (Portugal, Amsterdam) finished the artworks over Thanksgiving weekend, and public admission will take place 10 a.m.-midnight Thursday, Dec. 7, through Sunday, Dec. 10.

Purple and blue light bathed the Astroturf courtyard of the outdoor street-art space, where 200 invited guests dined on hamburger sliders, sashimi and trail-mix trays of wasabi peas and almonds. By 9 p.m., rapper Jermaine Dupri hit the turntable decks, cutting through the idle chatter and clinking glasses.

Later, ex-Miami muralist Shepard Fairey (the Barack Obama “Hope” poster) and Miami Dolphins tight end Julius Thomas mingled with the crowd. Guests also assembled near a new work from Portugal artist Bordalo II, a tiger sculpture built from recycled scrap that is perched atop the hull of a biplane.

Jessica Goldman, whose father, Tony, was a driving force behind the revitalization of the Wynwood Art District before his death in 2012, picked the “humanKind” theme in response to “the past year in American politics,” she says.

“Right now in our political system, it has become OK to be unkind,” Goldman says. “The person who’s supposed to be our leader is supposed to inspire us. This is our chance to be kinder to one another, and for these walls to be a platform for good.”

The “humanKIND” murals will be on view to the public 10 a.m.-midnight Thursday, Dec. 7, through Sunday, Dec. 10, at Wynwood Walls, 2520 NW Second Ave., in Miami. Admission is free. Go to TheWynwoodWalls.com.

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