A Miami based contemporary art newsletter / blog

From Wynwood to MiMo: Spinello Gallery Moves Again

For lease; Spinello Gallery’s old Wynwood space.

Around two and a half years ago a small apartment based curatorial venture called Red Dot Project on North Miami Avenue gave birth to Spinello Gallery. Just over a year and a half ago Spinello Gallery, seen by the community as an emerging gallery with great potential took its place among Miami’s heavy weights in the Wynwood Art District. Today, seemingly dissatisfied with Wynwood Art District’s ‘pumping on second Saturday art walks but relatively dead at all other times’ routine and apparently not favoring Miami’s conventional other, the Design District, which is busy during the day but comparatively dead during second Saturdays, promising young dealer Anthony Spinello has moved his gallery again, this time investing in the MiMo (Miami Modern) district on the booming Upper East Side.

Occupied; Spinello Gallery’s new space.

Contrary to logical conclusions concerning the leanness of current times the move is not economically motivated. The reasons presiding over what might seem at the outset like a spontaneous post-Basel downgrade are in fact myriad but primarily bureaucratic. Importantly the transition out of Wynwood has been in the pipeline since late September and speaks, at least in the realm of preference, to Spinello’s unconventional if not at times restless drive.

If I thought it wouldn’t work I wouldn’t do it. Ironically everything fits! I don’t really know what to expect from the public but I hustle, I am not really concerned. The artists have been really great about it, excited more than anything actually. As soon as they come in they’re thinking about their next show. I guess we’ll see at the first show if it matters. The young drinking crew probably won’t make it over but I’ll get the people who need to be in here.

Although the new gallery screams impermanence it is in many ways an improvement on the old one. In addition to more spacious and flexible office and storage spaces, the amount of actual gallery and wall space seems to have increased also.

Teasers inside the new space.

Despite being currently amidst the chaos of installation it is easy to see the potential of this modest yet chic new space. It’s cool and compact with polished terrazzo floors and an intimate, almost exclusive feel about it; kind of like the business end of a luxury condo-based collection. But unlike a condo the really cool thing about this space is its yard which envelops the back of the property in a wide fichus hemmed lawn. A long breeze block wall just waiting to be turned into a spectacle provides ample privacy.

The garden, Spinello Gallery’s new event/project/party space.

Moving to this new location means a number of things, not least that the gallery, which prides itself on an unconventional and experimental approach to art exhibition, will no longer feel obliged to dance to anyone’s tune. Impressively at its former location the gallery boasted an opening just about every month, something many galleries failed to accomplish. Not only were the openings regular and frequent, the exhibitions themselves pushed the limits of the space with regard to installation and redecoration.

In Wynwood I used to open every month. It was a lot of work but I have lots of Miami based artists so it’s important to give everyone equal exposure down there.” Spinello explains.

Now however, like other thriving ‘out of the way’ galleries like Carol Jazzar Contemporary Art who last year presented at SCOPE MIAMI, Spinello has the flexibility to keep his shows up longer, and without the pressure to capitalize on the crowds, open them when he wants; hopefully cutting out the increasing numbers of parasitic drunks (bless them) who flock to Wynwood for the party rather than the arty.

Spinello Gallery’s old Wynwood space

Having left his mark on Wynwood (quite literally with from which murals by Typo and Agustina Woodgate are pictured above) Anthony Spinello is bravely turning his back for the time being on the not-so-long established hub of Miami’s contemporary art world. Whether he is proved this year to be a visionary and a trendsetter or spotted in 2010 signing a lease on a fresh Wynwood space remains to be seen; for the time being at least his boldness is admirable.

As the shocks radiate outward from cultural epicenters, neighborhoods begin to improve. One need only look to the recent installation of the famous Coppertone Girl and Biscayne Boulevards transformation form a perilous 24/7 gauntlet of crack heads and prostitutes to a weekend jaunt of farmers markets, antique shops and uber-chic carwash cafés to evidence the effect Miami’s cultural sprawl is having on the city’s Upper East Side.

In the courtyard outside the new space.

Judging by Spinello’s history no-one can say for sure how long this current location will remain open but what is important is that it is open now (well, as of Feb 13th). The ‘new show, new venue’ gallery has its schedule down throughout the spring season and owing to this very smooth transition has thankfully lost none of its increasingly famous momentum [.]

Spinello Gallery prides itself on exhibiting intelligent works of art in every medium by contemporary local and international emerging artists. It has become the quintessential playground for unorthodox and experimental artists who don’t easily fit into the confines of the traditional gallery space.

Exhibition graphics.

The next show at Spinello Gallery is by Miami artist and infamous concrete bandit TYPOE. Entitled I WANT TYPOE SO EFFIN BAD the exhibition showcases sculptures from the artist’s “My Crazy Life” series which explores religion, violence, money, girls, and his pursuit to be on top in the graffiti fame game. Featuring appropriated articles whose contexts have been delicately subverted to form cheeky odes to biblical icons and luxury items of impending violence (such as a bob cats skull with gold plated teeth and a custom made brass knuckle duster on a red velvet pillow) this will be the artists first solo show with the gallery.

This exhibition and the gallery’s fresh alternative space opens on February 13th at 7pm and is located at 531 NE 82nd Terrace, No.3, Miami, FL 33138


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  • MiamiDanny

    The death of Wynwood has been greatly exaggerated. Of course there is no current law that says all galleries must be there, but Castillo, Dorsch, Snitzer, Locust Projects, OHWOW, Diet, just to name a few, probably are pretty happy with their locations. The hard-drinking part of the art walk can be summed up in two words-FREE BOOZE. If the galleries would unite, they could limit the serving if they wanted to. In any event, I’m sure Mr. Spinello’s success will depend upon the quality of his artists’ work, not the location of his gallery.
    Incidentally, Carol Jazzar’s Gallery (for those of you who may not know) is also her home, a beautiful and idyllic spot. Her current show, Guerra de la Paz, is pretty amazing.

  • whl

    Many galleries have already talked over the booze factor and have cut-off or cut back, or even changed the night of their true opening reception.

  • Duran

    Free booze at art events is the oldest trick in the book; Wynwood didn’t invent it. Galleries know that big crowds make it seem like there are a lot of good work to be seen (even if that’s not necessarily true) and that attracts potential buyers who think the crowds are on to something.

    My only concern is maybe Spinello’s move might be a bit too premature. Wynwood hasn’t even reached its peak. Yes he will probably still get serious buyers, but his visibility is going to suffer greatly. Miami is a city with a short attention span.

  • MiamiDanny

    Galleries that sell art don’t care about big crowds of freeloaders, drunken or not. The idea that Fred Snitzer or any other serious dealer, including Mr. Spinello, cares about the size of a crowd at a Second Saturday is illusory if not just plain false. Promoting artists you care about is joyous-selling their work even moreso. That is all that matters. Being 100 feet from, for example, artists like Paul Chan is a bonus that Spinello will no longer have. The idea that Wynwood is over is ridiculous. But then again, being in the middle of nowhere is pretty exciting, too. See you on the 13th.

  • Nmae

    Locust Projects is leaving wynwood after being there for over 10 years. As one of the first, if not the first public exhibition space in wynwood, surely, this must mean something.

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From Wynwood to MiMo: Spinello Gallery Moves Again