Wednesday, April 17, 2013

This Is Where It All Began

This is where it all began.

These train tracks lie behind the building where we used to live in M&F, and in the early 2000's, this is the location where we first discovered the wild and wonderful world of graffiti and street art.

After graduating college, M&F quit a job at a mortgage company and moved to Miami to open up a rock n' roll club with some friends.  We didn't know anything about permits or starting up a club, so everything was done guerrilla style.  The club was called The Lemming Theatre and even though it only lasted 3 months before poor business decisions led to its demise, but there were some insane shows while the fun lasted.

After the music club went under, M&F decided to remain in Miami for one reason.   As we told our friends at the time, it seemed that Miami was a hotbed for artistic culture.  Indeed, this was the exact time era when Art Basel was first setting its roots in Miami, and it is exciting to think that M&F was around when the seeds were first being planted.

The club was located at N. Miami Ave and 20th Street, and M&F rented a studio room above the club for $350 per month.  The intersection where the building sits is right at the border between Overtown, which is Miami's historic black district, and Wynwood.  It was commonly known as Wynwood at the time, but the tremendous success of Art Basel has earned the area the name of the Wynwood Arts District, and it is one of the hottest places on earth for street art and low brow art.

But really, M&F's fascination with graffiti and street art can be credited to having a dog who likes to explore and chase stuff.  There are very few places in Miami to find places to walk a dog, so we ended up exploring the areas off the grid, like rail road tracks and abandoned buildings.  And it was walking along these rail road tracks that we first became intrigued with, and then fell in love with graffiti.

Stay up, Los Angeles!  and Miami!~

Graffiti bombs on the old tracks of home.  These are the first spots that we started documenting back in the day with artists like Air, Ewe and Ikue.  The walls are still getting held down and slammed with graffiti from Steve, Edaps and Elmser.

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