Miami: The Wrap-Up
To complete the Heineken Mural Project, each artist put in over 50 hours of work under the blazing Florida sun. We caught up with a few of the artists while they were putting the finishing touches on their pieces, asked them about their process and how their kaleidoscopic murals open your world.
‘We live on an island [Hawaii] and are excluded from the mainland United States. This mural gives us an opportunity to show our culture. Tourism is the number one industry, but when people from all over the world come to visit the island, they never get the local perspective. People tell me that they want to know the real Hawaii. So I thought, “Why not share our world with the rest of the world?”’
‘Prime and I created a piko [space for meditation] in the center of the field and meditated together. We got the same visions before we started painting. We knew we were on to something.
The faces on the top left of the wall are King Kalakaua and Kamehameha IV. They were feuding in 1850, so we put them together, bringing forgiveness and peace. Queen Lili’uokalani, sister of Kalakaua, is the face of the mountain. She was the last royal figure before the United States took over the island.
The painting captures the natural beauty of the island. In our stories, we believe that people came from other places and left. I wanted to represent that with a spaceship. It is also a symbol of ascension, of rising up to a higher spiritual plane. The giant eye represents that we are looking above it all and beyond. It’s about opening your world from your everyday existence.’
‘The piece is an interpretation of a canvas I did a while back. It is about universal connection–a connection between people, regardless of where you come from or what you look like. The central figure could be a man or a woman and there’s a burst of energy. It’s very powerful.
To open your world, you’ve got to try new things and to think outside of the box. I’m influenced by Caravaggio, Gustav Klimt, Phase 2, Riff 170. I try to incorporate many different styles. When I start painting, I don’t have a set picture of what it what it will look like at the end. I’m very open with the process and I just flow when I create.’
My mural is about music and the effect sound vibrations have on all of us. We are all made up of frequencies, such as brain impulses for example. Music vibration is the key to tuning ourselves. Think about it—If you have a bad day at work, when you get home you play your favorite song and you start to feel better automatically. In the mural, you see a gentleman that is breaking down until he has no figure or form. He melts into color. He’s defragmented into frequency of sounds. It is music that makes him and takes him to something else, to another state of being, whether mental, physical or metaphysical. And that’s how you open your world—through music.
“This wall is friggin’ huge. The space is unique. There’s a telephone pole right smack in the middle of the wall. A tree creeps in from the left side. Wires crisscross the wall’s entire length. The ground is soft, broken, and uneven. It’s scale and features pose a challenge and I wanted to take this space and use what it had to offer. So my piece is about embracing one’s environment; not just dealing with obstacles, but taking those factors that could be viewed as obstacles and creating something positive out of it. A figure of an enormous conductor breaks through the earth and is poised to master his surroundings. This is what “open your world” meant to me. Hopefully it sends a message or positivity, resourcefulness and creativity.”