If you’ve driven past Miami Design District’s Design & Architecture Senior High (DASH) recently, you may have noticed the vivid mural on the building's facade completed by internationally celebrated graffiti artist and activist, Shepard Fairey. For Art Basel Miami Beach week 2019, luxury watch manufacturer and tenant of the District, Hublot, teamed up with Fairey to commission a bespoke mural that celebrates the high school’s remarkable mission and its students.
Featuring Fairey's signature style, the mural showcases his trademark bold reds, sky blues, art-deco inspired layered shapes, and a portrait of an anonymous artist holding a single paintbrush looking defiantly towards the sky. This figure is an homage to the generations of artists that the high school has educated and those yet to come.
The murals style brilliantly references the posters that launched Fairey's career: his Andre the Giant Has a Posse (1989) & Barack Obama’s Hope (2008). Check out this world-class mural work the next time you are in the District!
Another dynamic mural lives in the District, completed by the famed studio 2x4. Although you might not recognize their name, you certainly would recognize their work. They are the graphic, fashion, and architectural design firm behind Lincoln Center’s “white, light, transparent,” design, now synonymous with the iconic cultural center, as well as the designers behind the graphics for the museums Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Broad, and Pérez Art Museum Miami.
For their unique hand and pioneering visions, 2x4 was commissioned by the Miami Design District to create Jungle, a large-scale mural in the eponymous plaza. The mural's monumentality was intended to create an unexpected experience for the District’s guests. Featuring an overlay of vibrant graphics depicting colorful tropical birds, lush plants, and widespread butterflies, the image calls forward the natural elements of the South Florida landscape. Take a look and see what details you can discover the next time you traverse across the plaza.
The theme of nature continues in the vibrant hand-painted acrylic mural, Surrounded by Space, created by the dynamic husband-and-wife team, DABSMYLA. Housed in Jade Alley, the mural was inspired by the couple’s original designs for their Perrier water collaboration. Their poignant style is clearly articulated with their creative interplay of color theory, perspective, and unique subject matter - expressed here through visually calming surreal flowers. The flower’s shared design language blurs the boundaries between real life and dreamscape. Make sure to take a long look the next time you are enjoying a cold pint from Abu and Ramsa!
The District’s interest in murals that celebrate nature continues with another created by Tokyo-born artist, Shun Sudo, whose style draws heavily from his childhood experiences. During his early youth, Sudo was an avid kabuki actor (the classical Japanese dance-drama synonymous with elaborate costumes & bold make-up). There, he acquired an interest in traditional Japanese art that ferried him to discovering Japanese Sumi-e painting, an ancient technique of monochromatic drawing recognized for its use of bold brush strokes to distinguish forms. Later, in his early twenties, Sudo traveled throughout the United States, with a particular exploration of the country's lush forests.
His unique visual voice came to fruition when he fused historical Sumi-e painting with contemporary graffiti techniques and began including forest animals he discovered during his adventures in the United States.
For his Design District commission, Sudo brilliantly transformed these experiences into a complete work, “Innocent Forest,” where brightly colored imaginary animals are outlined in bold, quick brush strokes. Next time you are taking a walk around the District, we invite you to come to imagine yourself in this magical world.
Although not the last of our great public works collection, 2x4 contributed another surrealist mural to the District, titled Vortex. The works' powerful exploration of dimensional space is expertly articulated through the use of trompe l’oeil. A technique used throughout iconic moments of art history (think Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel), trompe l’oeil directly translates from French to English “to deceive the eye.” Its power rests in the artist's ability to manipulate perspective to create the illusion of three-dimensional space on a flat surface.
Here, 2x4 succeeded in creating another curious experience for the District’s guests through the use of this historical technique. Come find this mural and explore how the artistry can transform your understanding of perspective and reality.
We can’t wait to see you around the District soon!