Wynwood, Miami: art of the matter
Back in the 1950s, Miami’s Wynwood district was nicknamed ‘Little San Juan’ because of the many Puerto Rican immigrants who had made this former industrial area their second home. However, this wasn’t the last transformation that Wynwood underwent. In the early 2000s, ‘El Barrio’ – as the area is also known – became the artistic epicentre of Miami, thanks to the artists and investors who turned the neighbourhood’s former factories and warehouses into versatile workshops and galleries. Nowadays, Wynwood is a vibrant cultural space divided into two emblematic subdistricts: the Wynwood Fashion Design District (home to top luxury brands) and the Wynwood Art District. Here’s our guide to the latter, with a list of unmissable galleries.
1 The Gary Nader Art Center
The Gary Nader Art Centre was founded by the eponymous collector in the late 20th century. From the beginning, it positioned itself as one of the prime movers of the Art District. Gary Nader – who was born in Lebanon but raised in the Dominican Republic – is one of the world’s most important collectors of Latin American art. In fact, his collection of works by Botero is one of the planet’s most spectacular, and it is currently on show in the gallery’s Espacio Botero (until 31 March) as well as in South Beach, where the 13 sculptures that make up Botero on Lincoln Road are being exhibited. In addition, at two other exhibitions currently underway at the gallery, visitors can view Masters, which includes works by Frida Kahlo, Tarsila do Amaral, Roy Lichtenstein, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Diego Rivera, Frank Stella, Alfredo Volpi and Andy Warhol, and learn about the diaspora of Latin American women, thanks to pieces by Miriam Costanza and Amanda Valle.
2 The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse
The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse is the living reflection of the Art District’s spirit. This warehouse converted into a gallery boasts an exhibition space of more than 4,600sqm where – by means of its various temporary exhibitions – Martin Z Margulies’ vast collection is shown. Here, visitors can find all types of artistic expression, from photography and videos to installations and paintings. This season, which end on 29 April, includes three exhibitions: The Italians, featuring pieces by 15 Italian artists influenced by the Arte Povera movement; New European and American Painters and Sculptors and new acquisitions; and The Bitter Years, which focuses on photography from the first half of the 20th century in the United States, thanks to images by photographers such as Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans.
3 Wynwood Walls
The neighbourhood’s heart is Wynwood Walls, an outdoor gallery founded in 2009 by Tony Goldman, the millionaire builder who was behind the district’s remodelling in the 2000s. Goldman came up with the idea of rehabbing a set of six abandoned warehouses, using their huge, windowless walls as urban canvasses to be used for painting stunning murals. Ever since, the centre of Wynwood has been transforming, thanks to works by artists from all over the world, such as Valencia-born Dulk, Japanese native Aiko, and Clare Rojas from the US. Entrance is free, and there are bars, restaurants and even another gallery inside.
4 Goldman Global Arts
Goldman Global Arts is a creative collective founded by Jessica Goldman Srebnick and Peter Tunney. Designed to support and elevate urban art, the GGA Gallery is its Miami exhibition space. Located in the Wynwood Walls space, it exhibits works by some of the world’s best street artists – such as Ron English and VHILS – and offers rotating exhibitions of muralists outside. The gallery’s curator, aforementioned artist Peter Tunney (who also has his own space inside the venue) aims to start conversations. Currently, visitors at the GGA can enjoy the Future Starts Now exhibition, which features paintings and sculptures by contemporary artists from Europe and the Americas.
5 Oliver Cole Gallery
A gallery where emerging artists and legends of the contemporary scene come together; Oliver Cole is the reference point for collectors in Wynwood. Founded in 2004, this gallery is constantly refreshing its works, thanks to its enormous presence on the Miami art fairs circuit. In fact, it will participate in the Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary 2023 International Fair – the season’s most important – from 23 to 26 March. Its walls have displayed works by artists such as Damien Hirst, Alex Katz, Banksy, Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, Marina Abramović and William Barbosa.
6 Museum of Graffiti
No one should leave Wynwood without visiting the Museum of Graffiti, an exhibition space that pays tribute to this art form, so common in American cities. Founded in 2019, the museum explores the contemporary evolution of graffiti from the 1970s to the present, thanks not only to its indoor exhibition, but also to the 11 murals featured outdoors. There is also a shop offering exclusive merch by some of the world’s top graffiti artists, and it holds classes for both children and adults. Currently, visitors to the Museum of Graffiti can see the Olé exhibition, which focuses on the urban scene in São Paulo, or the newly opened The Versus Project 3 by German Layer Cake.