Articentric, in an effort to get to the heart of the hype surrounding Art Basel Miami Beach / Miami Art Week, went to someone we believe to be a foremost authority on the budding art community in and around Miami. Derek Wilson has spent the better part of his life on this planet creating art, and moving the community forward. Not only an amazing artist, but also a purveyor of knowledge as an educator in the Miami Dade School system, Wilson has been “on the ground” and getting his “boots dirty” for many years. Frankly we find more value in that type of effort and commitment, rather than just jumping on the next bandwagon of pop culture in a city already so abundant with facades, architecturally speaking of course.
We sat down with Wilson to find out more about him, and what he was looking forward to during Art Basel Miami Beach, better known locally as Miami Art Week.
Derek, thank you for taking time this morning to talk with us about such an important week, artistically, in Miami. Art Basel draws the eyes of the world on Miami Art Week every year, and brings arguably the most influential artists and collectors to the city. Not only are the major international creatives exhibiting, but there is seemingly a trend toward emerging artists as of late. These artists are also getting their “feet wet” where once the scene seemed strictly for those affluent enough to afford the display space.
Q: Tell us, what is your EARLIEST memory of Art Basel/Miami Art Week?
A: My earliest memory of Art Basel is from 2004. I was invited to exhibit some small work as an FIU Alumnus at the Ritz Carlton on Miami Beach. I recall not even going to the show, I didn’t think this Art Basel thing was such a big deal.
I would spend the next 10 years trying to exhibit during Art Basel/Miami Art week. For better or for worse it’s a measuring stick of sorts as well as a source of anxiety for many local artists, who are trying to be a part of the artistic conversation.
Q: As an artist, and someone who we know to be actively involved in the Miami art world on a regular basis, not just once a year in December, what are some of the shows that you are most looking forward to this week?
A: The best shows (The Must See-stuff) are those affiliated with Miami Art Week. I find that the Art Fairs, as with Art Miami, Context, Spectrum as well as Miami Projects have more to offer, visually speaking. The Fairs tend to feature Local as well as National Artists and in my opinion exhibit works that are much more cutting-edge and truly all-inspiring, even for a veteran artist.
Q: We know you’ve got your work in at least a couple of areas during Art Basel/Miami Art Week, where can we look for you, and of course your brilliant creativity?
I am currently exhibiting a collaborative piece with Registered Artist and Keepn-it-Reel at the Spectrum Miami exhibit. The work on display; “The Cube” is a multi-media interactive installation that attempts to remove the barrier between art and the spectator. The Project inspires the viewer, now participant, to act as an artist while they interplay with the child-like building blocks, that when assembled correctly, create an original painting(s). The large-scale building blocks of art, not only touch upon a universal nostalgia associated with childhood but provide for a truly one-of-a-kind authentic experience.
I am also fortunate enough to be part of the FREEDOM experience. FREEDOM features an eclectic collection of art and artists from all over the world as well as music, performance and multi-media installations. I was invited by BeeFree Media to paint a Speed Racer mural on the side of one of several containers on display. I am truly blessed to be part of such an incredible line up of artists.
Find more from Derek Wilson at his website, Wilson-Art.Net and stay tuned to Articentric for more from this fantastic artist in the future.