ML - Maison & Objet Americas

Maison & Objet Americas - 2016 - Issue 1


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72 m a i s o n - o b j e t. c o m m i a m i m&O m&O over. The warehouses have morphed into studios and galleries, and the walls are now vast canvases for street art, bringing life and color to once-deserted roads. "Wynwood is the perfect canvas for street art because of the juxtaposition of the history of the commu- nity and the new urban development taking place," says artist Don Rimx. "The new imposing on the old. The old conforming to the unstoppable changes. That dynamic a lone ma kes for interest ing conversat ion—a conversa- tion expressed by the art on its walls." The metamorphosis has att racted cool bars, lively restaurants, hip entertainment, and crowds bounc- ing f rom ga ller y to ga ller y, t ur ning Wy nwood into a destination for tourists and locals alike. This transforma- tion was the vision of real estate developer Tony Goldman, who not only saw the neighborhood's promise but also laid the groundwork for the creation of a thriving community. "He understood the potential of a run-down indust r ia l neighborhood a nd k new how to conv ince a g roup of a lready- est ablished ga ller ies to follow his instincts," says Diana Lowenstein, owner of one of the f irst ga ller ies to move to Wy nwood, in 20 0 6. "Today Wynwood is world-renowned as one of the richest open- a i r museu ms, gat her i ng one of t he la rgest a nd most exciting collections of murals and street art in the world." Lowenstein and respected collectors like the Margulies and Rubell families anchored the art scene in Wy nwood a nd cha nged t he a rea's v ibe. I ndust r ia l became sexy, and a hip young crowd streamed in. The Wynwood Walls became a playground for artists and a popular place for locals to congregate, gaze at the art, and enjoy a cocktail or two. "Young artists created Wynwood," says Fort- Bre sc i a , who l i ken s t he neig hborhood t o New York City's Soho or Meatpacking District. "It wasn't created by the establishment. It was created by the progressive, avant-garde thinkers of a new generation." Just as new residential, hospitality, and dining options fueled the growth of Brickell, the same is hap- pening in Wynwood. Fort-Brescia's A rquitectonica is adding apartments and hotel rooms to the area, courtesy of more than half a dozen projects—small and midrise residential buildings and boutique hotels that won't jeop- ardize Wynwood's dist inct ive flavor. They won't have the colossal parking garages or lavish amenities you find in Brickell. "The amenity is the neighborhood," says Fort- Brescia, and the buildings will continue to be adorned w it h a r t. "We a re a llow ing wa lls t hat ca n be pa inted. The same personality will continue to exist. If you lose that progressive, artistic aspect, you lose the reason for the neighborhood." n Outside Art: As seen during Art Week Miami 2015, the Wynwood Walls continue to draw visitors in large numbers. photography by rebecca smeyne/get t y images

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