When developer Tony Goldman founded the Wynwood Walls in 2009, he was seeking to beautify an industrial section of Miami, tapping into the talents of both post-graffiti artists and street artists.
He worked with Jeffrey Deitch, the former-art dealer and now-director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, to develop the concept of murals lining the streets and the surrounding courtyard.
Soon the Wynwood Walls took on a life of its own: a colorful, textured assemblage of murals and painted doors, including major works by Phase II, Futura, Swoon, Barry McGee and Kenny Scharf that has transformed the area into a colorful stretch of NW 2nd Avenue.
This season in particular the walls have taken on a more profound symbolism, due to the unexpected death of Mr. Goldman in September. But art heals, and several of the artists decided to make new murals of their work in tribute to Mr. Goldman.
The standout work is a hand-painted mural by Shepard Fairey in which Mr. Goldman is the focal point, donning his trademark cowboy hat, his arms outstretched beckoning the viewer to enter the world of both the post-graffiti and neglected local community.
Last Thursday morning, during Art Basel Miami Beach, which ended Sunday, the birds chirped in the tall trees above the sculptural park and as the mist lifted, the sun reflected against the vivid colors. A woman sat at a nearby table with a clipboard, quietly writing notes, a Kenny Scharf-splashed tote bag at her side.
She said her name was Jessica Goldman Srebnick, Mr. Goldman’s daughter, who is now heading up the efforts to continue building the Wynwood Walls. She’s working with artist Scharf on developing a garden in honor of Goldman. That morning she was preparing for a tour of the mural site.
“Today is my dad’s birthday,” Ms. Goldman Srebnick said, who is the CEO of the organization. “I miss him.” The birds stopped chirping, and for a moment all was quiet, until the taxis arrived filled with curious visitors.