From the guys who brought you the O, Miami Open-Source Epic Poem, here’s another shamelessly grandiose and hopelessly idealistic project that just might be awesome. Over the last month or so, we’ve been building sketchymiami.com, the web home of the Sketchy Miami project, which has one simple and impossible mission: to create a portrait of every person in Miami.
Huh? Good question. Here’s the the Sketchy Miami about page with the answer:
The relationship between portrait subject and portraitist is one of the strongest in the history of art. (Think of the bond between Mona Lisa and Leonardo.) Sketchy Miami seeks to facilitate this relationship between thousands of local artists and residents. We believe the intimate nature of the exchange — giving one’s image, one’s face, to an artist to depict — will forge a bond as no other art form could. In time, the Sketchy Miami portrait gallery will become a definitive and inspiring testament to Miami’s diversity, ethnic, creative, physiognomic, and otherwise.
Essentially, Sketchy Miami aims to bridge the gap between Miami’s artists and the broader community. Taking part is really easy, whether you want an artist to do your portrait or you’re an artist who wants to create a portrait. Check out sketchymiami.com to learn exactly how to get involved.
One artist who has already done three amazing Sketchies, including the two at the top of this post, is Annie Blazejack. Not content with having the coolest surname this and that side of the Mississippi, Blazejack runs the Flagler Arts Space downtown and will be one of a handful of local artists doing flash portraits at our Sketchy Miami launch party on June 30. (Party info at the end of the post.)
We wanted to introduce her to our readers ahead of the event — where it is quite possible she will be drawing your portrait — so we asked her the following five questions.
Who are you? What is your Miami connection?
Blazejack: My grandparents moved down here to Paradise after WWII. I grew up in Miami, then flew up to Providence, RI, for college. While at school, I talked about my home city like it was a myth, like no way no body would believe a word I was saying.
Blazejack: I can’t answer this question. Here’s a haiku:
Given time enough,
these paintings will decompose
and become horses.
How would you define your style? your process?
Blazejack: Most of the paintings I’ve made recently are collaborations with artist Geddes Levenson. We invent a series of rules to follow, usually rules about time spent painting, and structures that help us to pay attention to each other’s techniques, themes, thoughts.
Do you have a favorite portrait in the history of art?
Blazejack: Matisse painted a picture of three nudes inspecting a tiny red turtle.
What is your favorite feature of the human face? Why?
Blazejack: The mouth: lips and teeth.
You can also get your portrait done by Blazejack and other great local artists at the Sketchy Miami launch party. It’s on June 30 at Lester’s Cafe in Wynwood and will feature live music by singer-songwriter Sam Friend and live pizza by Joey’s.
Best thing: Entry, pizza, art, and music are all FREE and beer is 25% off for the first hour. So come out, listen to great music, eat the best gourmet pie in the city, get your portrait done, have a brew.
You can learn more about the event on Facebook. Hope to see you there.