What struck me when I painted at Wynwood was a sense of camaraderie, not just among the artists, but the staff and management. Everyone just seemed genuinely happy to be there, and I found that infectious.” – Fin Dac, Ireland.

Walls of Change: The Story of the Wynwood Walls immediately catches your eye with its vibrant colours and bold text.  Published by Assouline, it serves as an inspiring and colourful read that celebrates community, culture and mural art.

While Miami is famously known for its white, sandy beaches, deeply-coloured sunsets and vibrant atmosphere (think “Miami VICE”), the neighbourhood of Wynwood was “flat and ugly, architecturally and socially inert”, according Hal Rubenstein. Rubenstein should know - he spent 25 years as Fashion Director of Instyle magazine, the celebrity and fashion bible coming from the USA. But that all changed when property developer, Tony Goldman, saw an opportunity to bring art and culture to the warehouse district, creating what is now one of the biggest outdoor "galleries" (if one can use that term loosely...) in the world.

Documented by photographer Martha Cooper, the book showcases the walls brought to life by both young artists and veterans like The London Police, Miss Van, Cryptik and more. But even if you don’t know them (which we admittedly didn't!), with one flick through the book you can see colourful images splayed across the pages with murals that depict diversity and imaginative artwork that takes you beyond Miami.

The author, Jessica Goldman Srebnick, daughter of the late Tony Goldman and curator of The Wynwood Walls since 2012, says that the walls are about “celebrating creativity and encouraging kindness and collaboration” but it also invites us to change our views on street art. Throughout the book, you’ll read the sentiments of many of the artists who have been featured on the wall, expressing how art is a gateway to creativity in communities. So, next time you spot graffiti on a wall, challenge yourself to see it not as a symbol of destruction but of creation.

More Book Club:

Saturday Night Fever Pitch: The Magic and Madness of Football Style by Simon Doonan


+ She Explores