Residency Reflection: Axel Void
There’s something both powerful and understated about Axel Void.
After a few moments of speaking with him, you get the sense that he doesn’t exactly belong to any particular place or zip code. Born in Miami, Axel moved to Andalusia, Spain at the age of three. From there, he would go on to collect stamps all throughout Europe, often opting to only bring with him a paintbrush.
He is, more or less, rootless – a fact that allows him to capture ordinary slices of life in a meaningful and uncomfortably honest way.
Indeed, it is his very rootless and observant nature that made him a perfect candidate to kick-off the 2014 Fordistas Residency program. The program, which invites 7 handpicked artists to live, work and be inspired by Miami, kicked off last month with Axel’s exhibition titled Mediocre. The series, which focuses on daily life, has evolved since he first began it in 2006.
“The first show I did for Mediocre was about a specific woman in Germany. I asked the gallery to pick a random person from a very small town. The gallery chose a Polish German girl who worked as a bartender. I flew there with only my brushes. I followed her every day life and got to know her. The whole show was about her,” Axel recalls.
In this exhibition, currently open for viewing at the YoAmo305 gallery in Wynwood, the Mediocre series has evolved into a curated selection of slices of life from Axel’s travels, including Miami. It is not that Axel is obsessed with the mundane, but rather he accepts its inevitability and chooses to embrace it instead of ignore it.
“Long before photography, paintings were used to pay homage to great historical events and public figures. Be it the church, Jesus Christ, dictators or politicians. I wanted to turn it around in my paintings and focus on the real people. The rest of the people that make up history. I’m interested in talking about every day people - mundane things, I would say.”
Spending hours at a time perfecting his pieces, Axel’s experience in the Fordistas Residency program allowed him to work with others in preparation for the opening exhibit.
“Painting is a very introspective thing. I wouldn’t say lonely - that’s not really the word - but it’s a lot of working from within you and digesting things to show them in a different way, so it’s always good to socially involve other people while you’re working to see how they see it,” he explains.
Raised mainly in Cadiz, one of the oldest cities in Europe known for its strong traditions, Axel describes his time in Miami as both strange and interesting.
“Cadiz is very different from a city like Miami that is relatively new and finding itself. I really like the mix here in Miami; the mix of culture. I think there’s also a really big contrast here. I’m not a very big party guy. [Going to South Beach] was always weird. To me, it was always like I was going on a field trip, like going to Disney World. It’s a theme park. Like somebody must have thought of this purposefully. Things are not all normal.”
As a renaissance man of sorts (painter, musician, filmmaker), Axel views his creative mediums as different languages all used to express the same message. Much like his peers in the art world, Axel chose paint as a medium to communicate his perspective. But unlike many of his peers, he isn’t looking for quick fame.
“I feel artists have different interests, especially in street art. There’s a vast interest in gaining attention. In my opinion, in a very fake and frivolous way. The way some artists use colors and effects in their paintings are based on how many likes they’ll get on Facebook. It’s the “wow” that they’re looking for. I guess in my paintings I’m not looking for the wow, I’m looking for the “oh!” followed by a thought and a reasoning. I like it for my work to stick in a person’s mind, to think about it,” Axels explains.
If the exhibit’s opening was any indication, Axel will be hearing plenty of “Oh’s” throughout his career. As for what’s in-store for him next, Axel will jet off to Spain and Italy for a few months to work on several new projects as well as work on finalizing a short film he filmed in Miami that captures slices of life. He also hopes to finish obtaining his degree in art to continue teaching young aspiring artists to develop their technique and style, something he’s grown a passion for over the years.
Be sure to mark your calendars for Axel Void’s finissage party this Saturday, March 8th at 7pm ET.
Yo Amo 305 Gallery
2311 NW 2nd Avenue
Miami, FL 33127
Check out Axel Void’s work and follow him here:
As Art Wynwood drew big crowds this weekend, we were happy to see some familiar faces – including local artist Douglas Hoekzema, or Hoxxoh.
Last September, Hoxxoh along with local artist and Fordista Andrew Antonaccio, helped us close out our Fordistas XII: Headlights exhibition with a few surprise pieces. Both artists hand-painted and transformed footballs and other elements from our QB challenge with Ryan Tannehill.
Hoxxoh, who is represented by the Miami based Butter Gallery, shared some of his unique paintings at Art Wynwood, each made distinct by his use of a moving pendulum.
Hoxxoh, Art Wynwood
SFF QB Challenge // Headlights closing reception
Below are some of our other favorite pieces from the Art Wynwood fair – including Typoe’s neon piece that appropriately greeted visitors at the entrance.
As trails of curious and art craving Miamians ventured through Wynwood’s Art Walk this past Saturday, Feb 8th, South Florida Ford kicked off the Fordistas Residency program with Spanish American artist Axel Void. As part of the Fordistas Residency, artists are commissioned to live, work and be inspired by their host city.
Void’s exhibition, titled “Mediocre”, was showcased at the YoAmo305 gallery in Wynwood and immediately transfixed guests upon entering. While Void’s work provides a compelling, honest, and often uncomfortable perspective, guests could all agree on one thing: it was anything but mediocre. Guests were also happy to learn that 50 limited edition prints are available for sale, with 100 percent of the proceeds supporting Autism Speaks.
If you’re bummed you couldn’t make it or like us, can’t wait to see more, be sure to come by the YoAmo305 gallery every weekday between 12 – 4pm ET (limited edition prints still available).
As well, mark your calendars for the exhibition’s closing party on March 8th at the YoAmo305 gallery.
For now, take a look at all the action this past Saturday in the gallery below.
Over the past two years, the Fordistas initiative has proven to be a successful platform for local artists to express and share their talent with the community. Mirroring the evolution of Wynwood itself, the sense of empowerment that has been set in motion by the collective as well as the associations that have been consolidated through Fordistas’ efforts have led to the current evolution of the platform to include both local and international talent. In 2014, the Fordistas Residency Program seeks to build upon the momentum set in place over the previous years.
FORDISTAS turned 3 yesterday! - Happy Birthday to us! =)
On December 5, 2013, as part of the Basel Series, a week-long program of dialogue and artist talks at the Product 81 Creative Lab, the Brazilian born South Florida photographer, Yuri Tuma, led an informative session on “The Mobile Art Movement” and its implications, possibilities as well as its points of controversy for the future of digital and photographic art. One of the questions driving the discussion included, whether or not images created and shared through the cell phone represent the death of photography: Does it represent a lesser art form or is it indicative of a fortuitous evolution of the medium? According to Yuri, Instagram, the major driving force behind mobile art, has become, in the hands of artists, a platform for promoting their visions and careers as well as the creation of instant global communities of like-minded individuals. The oftentimes promotional nature of images points to a strategic element that takes the “instant” out of Instagram and brings up a whole series of human behavioral phenomena such as “posting anxiety.” Nevertheless, the concern over how many people will “like” a particular photo may also influence in what ways it may be altered or what an artist may choose to do “fine artly” in the future based on responses. With mobile art, the social aspect of photography becomes the grounds around which the medium is evolving. Importance is being given not so much to technique but what an image can bring up– photography is now talking. The once highly individualistic art form is now the center around which a variety of communities, subgroups and subgenres are being developed. There is no doubt that with the mobile art movement, we are witnessing an evolution in which social media platforms serve as a communicative bridge that is not only transforming the field of photography but is also breaking through the oftentimes isolating experience of the gallery for both photographers and spectators.