They come from all walks of life, all parts of the globe, but they have two things in common.
They are among the most talented young artists in their field, and they all call Miami home.
With the 10th edition of Art Basel taking over, Miami.com sought out the most influential young artists in Miami, the ones who are making an impact by looking at things with a new perspective; the ones who will be leaving their mark during the largest art fair in the U.S.
Our selections included a rugged photographer, a mysterious street artist, an intense performance artist, a pair of distinct video artists, and two artists for the thinking person.
Below is a quick snapshot of our picks. Follow the links for more in-depth interviews with each, along with a photo gallery of each and their works. Special thanks to Anthony Spinello of Spinello Projects for his photographic work.
Here are Miami’s Young Baselers.
Raised in Pittsburgh by his single mother, Balber developed a talent for fighting which lead him to boxing, wrestling and Muay Thai. He now mentors at-risk youth. “I’ve had to redefine what success is to me and it’s not financial. It’s more about just being heard and validated as a thinker.” His brutal honesty is reflective in his work, which is often inspired by his own painful experiences with subjects ranging from unorthodox Jews to drug dealers and prostitutes. “I like taking pictures of things I’m not supposed to.” He will be leaving soon for New York where he was invited to study at the International Center of Photography.
30, Conceptual Artist
She hails from Buenos Aires and after graduating from the National University of Visual Arts found herself in Miami after following her heart (and her now husband). “Miami is a playground, a very available city to work with space.” She draws inspiration from “literature, anthropology, philosophy, life’s simplicity. My life is a cemetery of all my experiences. The medium doesn’t direct my art, the concept directs my art.” She has taught herself all sorts of crafts including sewing, woodwork, sanding, construction and spinning. “If I don’t know the medium, I’ll just learn it.” This unparalleled confidence apparently extends to her personal life, as she is currently in flight school.
This graffiti virtuoso never allows himself to be clearly photographed in order to keep his anonymity (and he doesn’t want to get busted, either.) He admits his work has matured and his latest conceptual assemblage, where he used plastic spray-can tops, gunpowder, brass knuckles and garbage bags, is another example of his evolution. “I’ve been doing art and graffiti since I can remember doing anything. If I wasn’t doing art, I’d probably be doing something very illegal.” He is a partner in Primary Projects, an experimental project space brought to you by the beautiful minds behind “Miami’s original open air museum” whose extraordinary mural installations are known as Primary Flight. “I use the gallery as a classroom and a format to show people what I’m about and what’s going on in my head.”
27, Visual and Performance Artist
“It’s a good time to be a young artist living in Miami,” says the winner of last year’s YouTube Creative Biennial at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. “Miami is a really interesting city right now, where you can create your own way and because artistically the history may not be as saturated as other cities, you can have a creative part in making your own identity.” A performance artist who uses video and installation to express herself, she says she is influenced by things in her day-to-day life. “When you’re a creative person and you don’t know about labels, you’re just having fun and indulging your thoughts.”
24, Video Artist
Autumn moved to Miami from Dallas to attend the New World School of the Arts. Last year her short film "Getting Rid of all My Shoes" took the top prize at Optic Nerve XII, the Museum of Contemporary Art’s annual short video contest. Her improvisational and satirical work is often sparked by “universal ideas in big commercial movies. I take those lofty romantic themes and work backwards to myself.” Her passion extends to music where she recently joined her second all-female post-punk band, Luma Junger.
31, Video and Performance Art
Antonia grew up in Miami. “You can grow with [Miami] as an artist, so as you develop the scene, the city develops as well. I’m really grateful to this city.” Her mother, Carolina Garcia Aguilera, was a writer who published nine books and introduced her to poetry. She got her masters in poetry from New School University “I wrote my thesis on poets who were performance artists and then I really dove into the visual arts after that.” She’s determined to be true to her subject matter and will stop at nothing to achieve the maximum integration between her physical body and her work. “I make a lot of work as a response to political situations. ‘Deep Water Horizon’ (Taplin Collection) was a response to the BP oil spill. I found the most disgusting alley and took all my clothes off and I rolled down it. By the end I was scraped and bruised all over my body. I got a concussion, a black eye, just really, really torn up.”
32, Visual Artist
There’s no one quite like Bhakti, who says he is stimulated by “everything, seriously. Inter-connectivity is a major subject driving my investigations.” While light is his favorite medium, he is known for his sculptures, and explains his prowess in that medium is arrived “through process and experimentation versus conception and execution strategies. It’s interesting to me how things make their way into a piece, be it a found or rearranged material that has been altered in some way.” For further proof just visit the dome he installed for Buckminster Fuller.
Typoe and Agustina Woodgate photo by Anthony Spinello