As the four of us strolled these blocks for a few late morning hours, only a few cars and pedestrians awoke from 2016's latest night revelries. As a sleepless array and display of wall paintings peaked around each corner, we entered an awaiting and waking outdoor museum. While parking lots and places were mostly vacant at that hour and shops not yet stirring, sidewalks and walls filled the day with vibrant expression. A sunny day welcomed and ushered us to our wanderings and wonderings.
When we soon exited our auto, our views infused an almost immediate automatic curiosity. Our inner eye compassing and canvassing streets, our inner GPS's directed us in various directions. Each of us had an eye for something unique and alluring. Soon we found ourselves mingling and meandering tasting artistic morsels and savoring murals of imagination all about us. Miami's 25th and 26th streets on New Year's Day woke us up with an artistic pre-lunch sweet treat.
Let's face it, when artists paint faces, they place life on display. All human art captures a moment - a slice of life, slivers of livers. Inanimate wall images creatively-portrayed often send meaningful messages. Yet for me the most meaningful works cause me to stare and ponder about the human condition. Something about the artist. Often something about the situation and motivation when the artist released and unleashed his talent.
There is something extraordinary about outdoor art. It reveals dimensions other art misses - it has a relationship to location, placement and structure, but also to time, light and even weather. Shadows and alleyways also awakened my views and vision. What I discovered was the artist's colorful pallet was only one medium available to his or her expression. Angles and wall texture integrated with gates, pipes, flowers, trees, doors and grates. Light and directional factors contributed. As a member of their audience, I found some of myself there. I felt this experience rather than anticipate it; talented artists after all find human features of themselves in others. Humans relate when interrelate with humanity....and creative artists make that experience possible faster and better than most creative avenues of expression.
Powerful art often draws and attracts consciousness as well as crowds. It's because meaningful art evokes emotions, elevates thoughts and enlivens spirits. And while fascinating art is also within the eyes of the beholder, any meaningful art helps us understand minds, cultures, communities and even cities. Art helps us all imagine and learn. But this understanding only happens when we get up close and personal. Let's call closeness "eyeing art". This only happens when go see art face to face. Eyeball it! Give it a looksee! Get close to it. Take it in in person. Let it wash over us. When artistic expression resonates, it stirs within us. We know when it stops our steps. When it holds our attention. When it sends a subtle or message or two. And faces can do that to any human. Facial features may catch our attention, but it is in our eyes that we connect. The eyes have it. There is where expression resides.
Some simple souls believe graffiti defaces and degrades a community, lowering standards and property value, but when the art displays amazingly, it beautifies and upgrades interest and values. A sense of communal pride emerges when painted on the walls of one's world. Everyone can find some of themselves while walking the walls of Miami's Wynwood.
Our morning walk ended with short drive to lunch at the Mandolin, a sweet spot.