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Antoine Martin

ART GOES WEST

ART GOES WEST

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Si l'on entend parler d'art et de Miami, c'est le nom « Wynwood Â» qui s'impose en premier. Ce quartier ouvrier aux populations afro-amĂ©ricaines, haĂŻtiennes ou encore cubaines qui enregistrait dans les annĂ©es 70 le plus haut taux de chĂ´mage et de criminalitĂ© de Floride est devenu aujourd'hui le fleuron de l'art de rue depuis que le promoteur Tony Goldman y a investi dans les annĂ©es 2000, incitant les artistes-graffeurs Ă  s'approprier les murs de ces Ă©difices, devenus de vĂ©ritables musĂ©es Ă  ciel ouvert : les Wynwood Walls.
 
A l'exception de la venue de Tony Goldman, Allapattah a vĂ©cu la mĂŞme histoire et se prĂ©sente dĂ©jĂ  comme le nouvel eldorado du « graff Â» mondial. Fabian Martinez, propriĂ©taire de « Esquina de Abuela Â», en est le principal maĂ®tre d'oeuvre.
 
Ce lieu, Fabian l'a investi Ă  la mort de sa grand-mère, d'origine cubaine et ayant fui son Ă®le après s'ĂŞtre battue aux cĂ´tĂ©s de Fidel Castro, puis contre lui. L'âme de cette femme exceptionnelle habite encore les murs de la maison et son portrait a mĂŞme Ă©tĂ© immortalisĂ© sur l'un d'eux.
 
C'est en 2016 que Fabian quitte son mĂ©tier dans l'immobilier pour redonner vie Ă  la maison de sa grand-mère, et en faire une galerie d'art mouvante, un lieu de partage pour les artistes du monde entier (pour qui il jouera le rĂ´le de manager le temps du pĂ©riple) mais Ă©galement une renaissance pour son quartier... 
 
En dĂ©cembre dernier alors que l'Art Basel bat son plein, il y accueillait des graffeurs du monde entier, notamment le suisse Sèyo, pionnier de la discipline en Europe ; Ignacio, un sans domicile fixe que Fabian a pris sous son aile et avec qui, il Ă©change l?entretien de la maison contre un toit et de la nourriture ; James, un ami d'enfance sorti de prison rĂ©cemment et rĂ©sident de « Esquina de Abuela Â» le temps d'un nouveau dĂ©part sous la condition exclusive de ne pas succomber Ă  ses vieux dĂ©mons.
 
Dresser un parallèle entre Fabian et Tony Goldman serait aisĂ© au regard de leur amour respectif pour l'art urbain et leur passĂ© dans l'immobilier. Pourtant leurs philosophies sont diamĂ©tralement opposĂ©es. Fabian vient d'Allapattah et connait ce quartier depuis son plus jeune âge. Il ne souhaite pas le gentrifier mais le dĂ©velopper avec sa communautĂ©. L'idĂ©e est de dĂ©velopper une communautĂ© artistique qui connecte les gens au quartier et entre eux. PlutĂ´t que d'importer des commerces venant de l'extĂ©rieur comme cela s'est vu Ă  Wynwood, il souhaite dĂ©velopper en misant sur la culture de l'art.
 
Fabian ne veut pas faire d'Allapattah un Â« parc d'attraction pour touristes Â», mais plutĂ´t prĂ©server son âme pour en faire profiter Ă  ses habitants. 
 
En tant que visiteurs, nous sommes les passagers des murs de la « La Esquina de Abuela Â», destinĂ©s Ă  ne pas s'Ă©terniser. Â« Esquina de Abuela Â» n'est pas un Â« chez-soi Â» mais un Â« chez eux Â» oĂą ils nous accueillent.

 

If you hear about art in Miami, the name "Wynwood" comes first. This working-class neighborhood with African-American, Haitian or Cuban populations, who had the highest rate of unemployment and crime in the 1970s, has become a flagship of street art since promoter Tony Goldman invested there during the 2000s, inviting graffiti artists to express themselves on the walls of its buildings. Veritable open-air museums: the WynwoodWalls. With the exception of the promoter's visit, Allapattah has lived the same story and is already foreshadowing itself as the new Eldorado of the "Graff" world. The person behind this promise is Fabian Martinez, owner of "Esquina de Abuela".
Fabian inherited this place after the death of his grandmother, a Cuban whoman who fled her island after fighting alongside Fidel Castro and then against him. The soul of this exceptional woman still lives on the walls of the house and has even been immortalized on one of them.
It was in 2016 that the young man left his real estate profession to revive his grandmother's house, in order to make it a moving art gallery, a place of sharing for artists from around the world. (for whom he will play the role of managing the time of the journey) but also a lung for his community ... Last December when Art Basel was in full swing, he welcomed: graffiti artists of multiple nationalities, notably the Swiss Sèyo, pioneer of the discipline in Europe; but also Ignacio, a homeless man that Fabian took under his wing and with whom he exchanges help in the house for a roof and food, or James, a childhood friend recently released from prison and resident of "Esquina de Abuela" the time of a new start under the exclusive condition of not succumbing to his old demons.
Drawing a parallel between Fabian and Tony Goldman would be easy with regard to their respective love of urban art and their appetite for real estate. Yet their philosophy is diametrically opposed. Fabian is from Allapattah and has known this area since he was a child. He does not wish to "gentrify" his home, but to develop it with his community. The idea is to develop an artistic community that connecting people to places and each other. Rather than attracting outside businesses as seen in Wynwood, he wants to develop with the art culture. 
Fabian does not want to make Allapattah an amusement park for tourists, or rather preserve its soul to benefit its inhabitants.
As a visitor, we are only passing guests of the walls of "La Esquina de Abuela" intended not to drag on. We are like the graffiti that is exposed in the house, then disappears replaced by new works. "Esquina de Abuela" is not a "our home" but a "their home" where they welcome us.