beyond basel: meet the next-gen miami creatives to know
The 305 is stereotyped as the land of Pitbull and party girls, where hordes fill the nightclubs that line Miami Beach—and it is. It’s also the home to the performance artists, fashion designers, musicians, and cultural curators.
What do you do? Make music.
How does this city inspire you? Feels like there is room for intellect/improvement. Feels like there is space here to fill with content.
What's exciting about the Miami art scene? It's yung. No one takes us seriously yet so there aren't as many unspoken bs rules as other more solidified scenes and there aren't 20 other people doing the same thing you are doing.
What's your vision of Miami's future? If it's not underwater, I guess it could be pretty lit, like some new age tripped out renaissance type of situation.
What are your plans for Art Basel? Unfortunately I have to work 'cause I'm broke af.
Age: 24 years in this life.
What do you do? I create music.
How does this city inspire you? This city still continues to inspire me. The way it digs its nails into my skin with hate and the lack of empathy and imperfection... at the same time lifts me and loves me and shows me compassion and affection. The multiple cultures create multiple perspectives, which carve artists like myself to be able to project something meaningful. I fucking love where I'm from. And everyone inside of Miami inspires me.
What's the best soundtrack for a night out in Miami? When I want to feel real Miami and feel like a nighttime creeper in my cool vibes, I'll go for "Shone" by Ball Greezy.
What are your plans for Art Basel? Perform at The Ritual and Swerve Basel and just see art, meet people, and hopefully pick up something worth holding on to.
What do you do? I make music and video games.
What songs are on the ultimate Miami soundtrack? "Revolver 3" by M7, "Blursome" by Night, "SE MK II" by Aoud and "Solera" by Jorge Andre.
How did moving to Miami change the way you view the city? Miami never crossed my mind before landing here, and now it's this strange paradise where I spend most days arranging melodies, exploring virtual reality, and drifting in the ocean.
What's your vision of Miami's future? Flying hover segways over a floating skyline.
What are your plans for Art Basel? I am performing at a few art galleries and previewing the VR build of my unreleased video game, Water Planet. Nov 30, Studio Soir. Dec 2, h[ome base]l Dec 2 Water Planet VR installation, The Vortex: Nocturnal Salon D'Art. Dec 3, DREAM GRL after party.
Name: Denzel Curry
What do you do? I'm everything, I'm a rapper, I'm a singer.
What about Miami inspires your music? There was a lot of stuff that needed to be talked about when I was in Florida. Just being around the ghetto areas and shit, growing up around there and then going to art schools and looking around the Art District and shit, it just gave me inspiration to combine the two.
What will Miami look like in the future? I can't even tell you, what I see for Miami is that it's going to be a lot more people, more than just me because I'm not just the only one representing. There's a lot of them representing so there's going to be another one coming out of Carol City or somewhere else out of Miami that's going to be probably three times greater than all the people that you already heard.
Name: Daniella Nicole
What do you do? I run a yearly publication called NAH / NO Magazine and I also DJ and throw a monthly party called Club Paradise alongside my homegirl Yesenia.
How does this city inspire you? I love the grime and glitz, the strong Caribbean influence, the palm trees, swimming in the ocean during a sunset, booty shorts and booty music, the bizarre stuff you see on Biscayne, and the certain spice that every Miami native has to their personality. I've traveled a lot and I haven't come across that spice anywhere else yet.
What are your plans for Art Basel? Releasing issues #3 of NAH / NO at Untitled Art Fair with a photo exhibition by Dana Lauren Goldstein and zine table featuring various artists, DJing a few events, taking my out of town friends to brunch at Clive's Cafe (a Jamaican restaurant located in Little Haiti), and overall just getting lost in the madness and magic of Basel.
Age: 26 and counting.
What do you do? In my mind, I just make stuff up for a living. But the proper terminology for that is a digital artist and creative director.
What's unique about Miami style? The immense amount of diversity. You can go to any corner and eat bomb ass food, drink strong coffee, and experience a different culture without having to go too far.
What's your vision of Miami's future? I genuinely hope Miami is able to grow outside the stigma it's constantly given. Miami has the potential to be on the forefront of many industries. But it starts with those within it, so for the sake of the future of Miami I hope everyone extends outside their comfort zones. I see Miami and those within it becoming the ultimate hub for all things new.
What are your plans for Art Basel? I think it's safe to say this question gives everyone social anxiety. But every year, I just go along for the ride and end up at the most random parties. Except on the 2nd, the squad (YesJulz + YesJulz Agency) is throwing #1AMVibes with VEVO at Cafeina and we got Gucci Mane headlining!
Name: Sebastian Ruiz
What do you do? I plan for the future using art tropes—art will teach you many vital thinking and making skills I'm trying to use my powers for good rather than making useless objects, but more just planning for the impending doom on humanity. Really I'm on my art directing swag right now, I'm building out my universe right now getting people to slowly see the vision.
What are your plans for Art Basel? Got a lil' guerrilla style fashion show: Ping Pong Miami, a show I just got involved in last year connecting artists from Miami, Basel and LA, and then just cooling with my peoples. I love coming back home and will make any excuse to be out here vibing planning with the homies.
Beyond Art Basel, what's exciting about the Miami art scene? A lot of the old heads in the scene are really looking out for young talent and that's special because most places have these hierarchies and out here people are really accepting of young talent 'cause they know it will ultimately be beneficial to the community as a whole. It's important to keep the vibe going all year long instead of only turning up for Basel.
Name: Marilyn Rondon
What do you do? I'm a multidisciplinary artist and bartender.
Your work spans projects and media—what's next? I'm having a solo show of paintings in Portland, Oregon at the end of February.
What would you love to see in Miami's creative scene? The creative scene out here is just lacking discipline I suppose. There's not really much here in terms of fashion—I'd like to see some changes in that.
What's the biggest misconception about Miami? Honestly I don't know; I feel like Miami lives up to its party city name.
What are your plans for Art Basel? I'd like to check out Untitled, Scope, Aqua, and the NADA fair if I have time. Friday I'm also participating in being a live nude model at the Standard for an art piece. I'll be there from 2-4 so if anyone has ever wanted to draw me, I'll be posing.
Name: Jamilah Sabur
What do you do? I'm an interdisciplinary artist, working across various media including performance, video, and installation. Right now I'm working on an experimental documentary film.
How does this city inspire you? There is wildness in this place that I find really inspiring. When I speak of Miami, I speak of the greater South Florida region. The ability to observe and step in and out of so many different portals created by people from all over the world is quite special. I hear so many stories and I get to peel back the layers of memories from so many different cultures—all of that mixed in with the swamps, fields of sugar cane, alligators, and hurricanes is pretty rich territory for an artist.
What core idea are you currently trying to convey with your work? I'm really consumed with thinking about the systems that continue to allow for mass global poverty, failing governments, and lack of opportunities, and the plight of migrants in search of better lives. This, coupled with the reality of climate change, we can see that "the future is here already, it is just unevenly distributed." The core idea I'm currently trying to convey is: how do we shift this uneven distribution of burden in this moment of collective inertia to the point it feels so strongly that it cannot be ignored?
What are your plans for Art Basel? I have a piece included in the group show The Rest is History at Dimensions Variable, in their new location at Miami Dade College Wolfson campus. I'll be in Tijuana working on a project and LA for a screening at REDCAT, in which I have two short films as part of Let it Be Known celebrating the legacy of Octavia E. Butler curated by Erin Christovale.
Name: Julian Yuri Rodriguez
Age: I've been here forever just traveling as different forms of energy so it's hard to gauge.
What do you do? I am a filmmaker, motivational speaker, teacher, Roman Catholic, and a great son.
How does this city inspire you? It's crazy as hell. I'm not inspired by the pretty Miami Beach stuff but more by the dark shadows in Miami. The city itself inspires me, all of it, but what I really enjoy are the dark corners of stuff. Like you can be walking down a real nice art deco spot on the beach and just look into the wrong alleyway and see a guy smoking crack. It's a real dark place but it's painted in a bunch of cute colors so we forget that.
Where's your favorite place to shoot in the city? Whoever will give me a free location without having to rent something out. Usually that is my mother's house where my last full-length film was shot as well as my MTV show.
What are your plans for Art Basel? Drive to Sarasota and avoid all the weird shit.
Name: Jillian Mayer
What do you do? I am an artist and a filmmaker, mainly.
A lot of your work is linked to tech. How would you like to see art and technology interact in the future? My work is related to how technology and the Internet affects our identities, lives and experiences. I think a lot of attention will be put forth to create better, more full-bodied renders. We are often not allowed to touch art and touch is one of the hardest senses to emulate or replicate with technology. I am interested in how that will move forward.
What Miami artists are inspiring you right now? Adler Guerrier, Lucas Leyva, Julian Yuri Rodriguez, POORgrrrl, Bernardo Britto.
What are your plans for Art Basel? I have a solo project a the Pérez Museum featuring six of my Slumpie Sculptures and two videos and I am speaking at ABECEDARIUM, a symposium at PAMM. Also, I am in the Art Basel Film Program, which screens daily at the New World Symphony. On Sunday, the Faena Dome will be presenting two hours of video Lucas and I made about virtual reality players, sort of. Also, Life is Beautiful, group show during Basel.
Name: Julian Consuegra
What do you do? Designer and owner of Stray Rats.
What's the meaning behind Stray Rats? Stray Rats is literal. Growing up in the punk rock/hardcore scene I noticed rats were often referenced in the music. "Rat Music for Rat People." I always thought of me and my friends as a bunch of moving rats in the city or scene, getting what we could get within the boundaries we had. Underground but moving above ground to bring it back in.
What makes Miami fashion unique? It's limited and simple, Miami has perfected summer styles since it works year round. But the shopping habits for gear are much more slow paced than other big cities, so it's more focused on few things.
Where do you go in the city to get inspired? Places like Carol City, to Little Havana, and all of Miami Beach. Everywhere, truly. Miami always impresses me.
Text Aliza Abarbanel
Photography Joshua Aronson