Rebeka Josil: Miami as Text 2019

My name is Rebeka Josil and I’m currently a Junior, majoring in Biology. I have hopes of attending Medical School in the future. I love learning about different cultures through art and whenever I get the chance, I visit museums. I also love travelling and spending time with family, but one of my favorite hobbies is going camping. I believe the world’s greatest art is nature and it’s better to experience going outdoors.

Art Society Conflict “Norton as Text” – Rebeka Josil

The visit to Norton Museum was a memorial one and was worth drive to West Palm Beach. I got to experience the changes of paintings throughout the centuries and step into the shoes of each painter’s life in each era. I learnt that painters were not respected back then, and they were not allowed to paint outside the rules of painting. However, as time progress, more printers broke that barrier and developed new and own type of paintings. I gained knowledge of each painter trails and achievements throughout that era. Which lead me to have deeper respect for those each painter in the time back then. Moreover, this lead to a new era of painting which includes contemporary painting, which is a whole topic on its own.

Wangechi Mutu’s painting was really interesting and caught my eyes immediately. The name of the painting is called, “Your Story, My Curse” and captured the world of abstract by ‘manipulating paint and collaging images of animals, vegetables, fashion’. -Norton Museum. What made this even more interesting to me is the painting is a depiction of females. One sentence from the description perfectly states -‘Our use of makeup, clothing, and communication through physical appearance boils down to a very primal urge to attract and/or scare those we want around or afar from us’- Norton Museum.  I felt in the painting, you could of barley depict it was humans, but when you know the story behind the painting that made whole more beautiful and unique.

Deering Estate as Text by Rebeka Josil

Deering Estate is very special to Miami, as it holds the foundation of what Miami was before it became a city. The vast different I saw exploring the estate was astounding and I couldn’t believe that this was Miami before. I learnt that there was a tribe that lived there, Tequesta, but little is known of them. However, our tour guide Vanessa told us as much as she could and showed us the remaining of the Tequesta. We hiked in two trails. The first hike was to the Paleo-Indian archaeological Cutler Fossil Site. The second hike was to the Pre-Spanish Tequesta Burial Mound.

The overview of The Paleo-Indian archeological Cutler Fossil Site

The Paleo-Indian archeological Cutler Fossil Site was an adventure itself, walking through the thick, dense forest covered with poison ivy were both a challenge and a workout, that added to my excitement of what lied ahead, deep into the forest. It’s like a mini Amazon Rainforest in the Miami Metropolitan shores, that had a variety of trees that can be poisonous or not.  Vanessa explained and showed some of the tools the Tequesta tribe used for their everyday lives. For example, a conch shell that only had its core to dig holes into the ground and pieces of shells to scrape of tree bark. It was very interesting to know that they diet mostly consisted of fish, as they lived closed to the shores.

The second hike was to the Pre-Spanish Tequesta Burial Mound. It was easier to walk through, as there was a pathway with less trees in the way, however there were spiders everywhere. I loved how the various plants and trees of the Tequesta time are still present and Vanessa explained what purposes the Tequesta used them for. Our finally stop at a burial mound of the Tequesta. Above their burial ground, a huge and healthy oak tree stands. After learning about the horrible deed that was done to them and they were swiped out completely; seeing this site made me at peace knowing that this scared place was not destroyed.

This excursion of the estate was really enjoyable for me as I learnt and saw what life would be without technology. Life was more peaceful back then; nature was flourishing tremendously, and the food contained no chemicals. I hope this estate is preserve for a very long time as it hold history.

Wynwood as Text by Rebeka Josil

Wynwood I believe, is the central point for many forms of art in Miami. Going to Margulies Collection and De la Cruz Museum lead to a whole other view of what is known as art. That is contemporary art; it was like entering the unknown and each room had a different mood. Contemporary art, I would say, is defying the rules and creating art out of anything and everything. After visiting each museum, I saw art differently and became more open-minded.

In the picture below, I did not know what it was about or who the artist was. However, I was fascinated by the realistic features of the men and the overall theme it set. What first came to my mind was five men waiting on something, but I didn’t know for what. Mr. Margulies, the founder of the Margulies Collection stated, “The art has to have a visual idea or it’s just a component. It is not what the art is; it is what it’s about.” Later doing more research on the sculptor, George Segal and his piece below. I came to find out that this piece is call, “The Depression Bread Line.” According to Grounds for Sculpture- “The five male figures lined up by the wall on the sculpture pad represent a scene from the Great Depression, a period of economic hardship during which many people were in need of government assistance to survive.” I was surprised as I interpreted it wrong, but I believe the beauty of contemporary art is you interpret what you think it may be, you later find what it really is, challenges your mind to think outside the box.


Vizcaya as Text by Rebeka Josil

Vizcaya is no doubt a replica of Europe- a mixture of Italian, Spanish, French and a sprinkle of Islamic influence; founded by James Deering, the brother of Charles Deering. James Deering had the money and wanted to hold value to his name. Since persons in America did not have a lineage of noble family members or households; for example, John de Mowbray, 1st Earl of Nottingham. James Deering built Vizcaya as a mean to show his nobility and therefore gain respect. He also built Vizcaya for a getaway from the cold up North.  Vizcaya was surreal to me as I did not need to step foot into Europe to experience the architecture or culture. I saw a little of France’s Versailles, Italian and Spanish Renaissance. Moreover, some of the art pieces were either a replica or brought from Europe and are worth thousands of dollars. What was quite funny to me was two portraits of unknown persons (both named Deering) hanged in the dining room of James Deering Estate, however they are in no way related. The building of Vizcaya had a sad beginning, unfortunately. Bahamian and black Americans were labored and paid little to nothing, later to be segregated to what is known as Coconut Grove’s today. However, like most historically buildings in America, I believe the black Americans should be recognized for what is known as America today. To end, I enjoyed my visit to Vizcaya as I got experience a day of what used to be James Deering’s life. I am still in awe by the richness of architecture of Europe seen in Vizcaya and I like to believe it is little Europe in Miami.

The Lns Gallery

The LnS Gallery was something new I experienced. It is not a museum but a gallery that sells artists’ paintings and sculptures. I learnt how and why it is better for artists to have a company like LnS Gallery to sell their paintings as it is worth much more than they thought. Some paintings are worth up 4.5 million dollars and as low as 100 dollars.  The owners were very friendly and answered all the questions about their business. Moreover, I like how they help underground artists to sell their valued paintings at reasonable prices. And, I like how they have paintings as low as 100 dollars for students to buy and invest. The visit to LnS Gallery was pleasant and I gained knowledge of the process of selling paintings to buyers.

Design as Text

The institute of Contemporary Art, also known as ICA, is a place where art has a deeper meaning. Though, I became remarkably familiar with contemporary art, I learnt something new looking at the different art pieces in the institute.  My favorite art exhibition was Guadalupe Maravilla: Portals. After hearing his life story; I had a deeper appreciation for his work. He is was born in El Salvador and fled to America at 8, away from the conflicts in his country. However, I learnt life was not easy in America. According to ICA website, ‘the artist’s geo-cultural displacement and personal mythology, referencing his own story as part of the first wave of undocumented children to arrive in the United States due to the Central American conflicts of the 1980s and also the political tensions between the Mexican-American borders involving DACA.’ Being an immigrant back then, even now is difficult and leads to a lot of uncertainty and in his exhibition, he portrayed his trails and overcoming perfectly. What I like about his sculptures is it portraits his identity; the sculptures were very Aztec like and the use of the headdress showed his pride for his indigenous heritage. However, the headdress has a deeper meaning; it symbolized the malice endurance he faced as an immigrant while he had cancer. However, the sculpture is surrounded by agave leaves and shells, which he added as a symbol of renewal and going forth on a new journey. I see this exhibition as a symbol of hope for every immigrant who leaves their country for another, either from conflict or a better life.


Miami Art as Text

I really enjoyed the day, as the class got to visit two amazing art fairs (UNTITLED and Art Miami) which are held each year. What I learnt about both is Untitled is a primary sale market and Art Miami is a secondary sale market. Which means artworks at Untitled are being sold for the first time and artworks at Art Miami are being sold for more than once but at a higher price. The first fair we went to was UNTITLED and I fell in love with the venue and the different contemporary art I saw. The whole atmosphere felt heavenly with bright lights illuminated the place that made the art works stood out more against the white walls. There was so much to see as there was over one hundred boots from all over the world.

A picture containing box

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My favorite was from the country, Ghana, Gallery 1957. It was lovely seeing art from Africa, as I have a deep love for African art. However, it was sad that the artists themselves could not be there to present their arts due to visa problems. Nonetheless, it is still amazing that their art can be represented and sale on a worldwide art fair.  Godfried Donkor is the amazing artist for the boxer’s portrait. He is a British-Ghanaian with a passion in the socio-historical relationships of Africa and Europe.  Moreover, with these two-culture fusion, he creates artworks that presents Ghanaian history. The halos over the boxers’ head give the paintings a medieval feeling and it had a Christian concept added to it. What I’ve learn from Victoria Cooke, the representative of the booth is boxing was introduced to Ghana through slavery and Ghanaian men were put to fight, until there is one man standing.

The next fair we visited was Art Miami, and it was quite different from Untitled. The venue was not bright and there were no booths or representatives. It was exciting and overall a wonderful experience. It was filled with many valuable artworks and I was so surprised how close we could have been close to them. My favorite art piece was from Shawn Huckins called “Critical Drinking”, which reminded me of memes, and it made me thought how connected the internet is connected to the art world.

Pictures taken and edited by Rebeka Josil

Author: miamiastext

Admin Account for Miami in Miami

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