"Women on the Walls" @ Wynwood Walls, MiamiJuxtapoz // Saturday, 07 Dec 2013
Wynwood Walls presents Women on the Walls, a new outdoor mural project and a gallery exhibition celebrating the contributions of outstanding women artists who are part of the history and the new energy of street art. The nine new wall murals and the gallery exhibition showcase the work of essential innovators like Lady Pink and Claw Money, and artists who are redefining street art today from a woman’s perspective like Swoon, Maya Hayuk, and Sheryo.
Wynwood Walls was established in 2009 by the legendary Tony Goldman with Jeffrey Deitch as an outdoor museum of international street art. Since the first year’s program featuring Kenny Scharf, Futura, Os Gemeos, Swoon, Shepard Fairey, and other renowned innovators in street art, Wynwood Walls has become a phenomenon, spurring the creation of murals throughout the Wynwood district. It is now one of the best venues in the world to see the work of the leading street artists. After the passing of Tony Goldman in 2012, the project has been curated by Tony’s daughter, Jessica Goldman Srebnick. This year Jeffrey Deitch, who was the original curatorial advisor, has returned to co-curate Women on the Walls.
Five artists have been selected to create new wall murals in the Wynwood Walls compound. These are Aiko from Japan, Miss Van based in Barcelona, Fafi from Paris, Maya Hayuk from New York, and the legendary Lady Pink. Aiko, who was part of the first year’s mural project, is known for her sensual Japanese pop imagery. Miss Van and Fafi are among the most influential street artists in Europe, creating pop figuration from a woman’s perspective. Fafi is also becoming one of the most influential new directors of music videos, celebrated for her collaborations with Azealia Banks, and M.I.A.. Maya Hayuk’s unique geometric style work is currently featured at the entrance of the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. Lady Pink was the most influential woman artist in the early history of New York graffiti. She was one of the stars of the 1983 film Wild Style that helped spread the imagery of New York wild style graffiti around the world.
Faith 47 from South Africa, Kashink from Paris, Lakwena from London, and Sheryo from Singapore, have been commissioned by Goldman Properties to create new wall murals in the Wynwood neighborhood adjacent to the Wynwood Walls compound. These influential artists represent the international reach of the street art movement. Faith 47 recently completed a socially engaging project in Johannesburg and Cape Town using quotes from the Freedom Charter. In contrast to other women street artists, Kashink only paints men, usually four-eyed, fat, and hairy gangster-like figures. Lakwena, trained as a sign painter, creates dazzling compositions fusing words and geometric shapes. Sheryo describes herself as “an artist who paints imperfect gnarly characters that are calming to disoriented souls.”
The gallery exhibition in the Wynwood Walls complex features all of these artists in addition to Claw Money from New York, Jess & Katie from Baltimore, Myla from Australia, Olek from Poland, Shamsia Hassani from Afghanistan, and Too Fly from New York. A claw is the signature image of Claw Money. Jess & Katie paint directly on the street itself. Myla paints her own exuberant version of cartoon characters. Olek creates knitted sculptures as interventions in the street. Shamsia Hassani is known for her images of woman painted on the streets of Kabul. Too Fly founded a collective of female urban artists called YOUNITY; she wraps her female portraits in swirling script. Martha Cooper, the legendary photographer from New York who has been documenting street art since the beginning of wild style in the 1970s, will continue documenting the artists at work on their murals as she has since the inception of Wynwood Walls. Her photographic work will also be included in the exhibition.
In addition to Jeffrey Deitch and Jessica Goldman Srebnick, the Women on the Walls curatorial team includes Janet Goldman, Meghan Coleman, and Ethel Seno.
Wynwood Walls is grateful for the enduring support of Montana Cans, the official paint sponsor of the Wynwood Walls; American Airlines, the official airline of the Wynwood Walls; and sponsors Art Alternative and Liquitex.