The #behindbasel series would not be complete without some words from Tropi favorite Marcus Blake. Blake is a Jamaican-born, Miami-based multimedia artist. His work includes poetry, street art, fashion, performance, event coordinating, intricate collages, acrylic on canvas and visual art. His poetry expresses social injustices, personal experiences and the common struggle of everyday life. He recently won the Arts Center of South Florida Ellies award.
Blake is well known, and sought out, for his street artwork, which reflects bright colors and intricately mixed vivid geometric patterns. A method coined by Blake called “Tapenology, inspired by the tropical landscape and architecture of the Magic City. It can be seen throughout the streets of Miami.
“My need and love for creativity began as an early teen. It was the greatest and healthiest way to express and interpret my life. Creating is my life. “
What do you remember about your first Art Basel?
My first experience with Art Basel was going to the convention center and seeing wall-to-wall art, what was considered the most “cutting-edge” art. I was highly impressed. Asian art was a big thing at the time. My taste in art is undefined as of now. I just like what I like when I see it. To me, art doesn’t need any definition. Great art will stand the test of time. With that said, I have no expectations for Art Basel. I really just ride the wave. I always seem to be in the right place at the right time.
“Art Basel is like the start of the new year. The city comes alive. There is an influx of inspiration in the city that everyone feeds off. I love it.”
What fairs and shows are CANT MISS this year?
My show, of course, but there is so much to see. The possibilities are endless. Art Basel is no longer contained on Miami Beach or in Wynwood, so to see it all you really would have to be on a mission to get the full experience. Miami’s art scene is something really special. There is no part of the city where art does not exist in some form. We are all starting to understand how influential and powerful art really is. It’s like the wild wild west. Anything goes. It’s a great time to be an artist in Miami right now. To be able to push the boundaries of creativity and imagination. I definitely will be out painting up the city. If you miss my show, I will have a few of my pieces in gallery exhibitions.
What are your top 3 tips to survive the week?
Tip 1: Use a bicycle
Tip 2: Head out with good company
Tip 3: Get an all-access pass
Blake will begin work on his Miamilith project in 2019 as a result of his award from the Arts Center of South Florida Ellies. “MiamiLith” will take slabs of concrete from the demolition of the old Liberty Square housing complex, and have them painted by local artists and erected as megaliths in open spaces around Liberty City. The community will have the opportunity to enter these lots, walk around, and enjoy these eye-catching structures.
Follow Marcus @mdotblake