Monday, November 11, 2013

Alex Yanes' "Up & Away": Bright Colors, Good Vibes

Artist Alex Yanes with his titular piece, Up & Away

By Carolina del Busto Mon., Nov. 11 2013 at 9:00 AM

VIA: The space was cleared and on the walls hung brightly colored wooden art installations. The crowd was gathering, drinks were distributed, and among the faces was a dude with slicked back hair and a red plaid shirt. Alex Yanes, the artist everyone came out to see, was making his rounds throughout the room - shaking hands, posing for pictures, and looking as happy as can be.
The Second Saturday show at Handcrafted Tattoo and Art Gallery would be Yanes' last solo show in Miami for a while. After this weekend, Yanes will be at Art Basel in December showing off a DJ booth and mascot he designed for LIV, and then it's jetting off to New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Germany in 2014.

But before bidding adieu, Yanes shared an intimate evening with family and friends with Up & Away: "The visual depiction of influence and realization from the mind of an 80's kid."

There were eight pieces set up on display, versus the original 15 Yanes had intended. Turns out, the largest installation, "My Fruition," which took up an entire wall, was going to be nine individual pieces, but in the end Yanes brought them together to form one large work of art.

My Fruition

Made up of nine different frames, Yanes playfully depicts a very cool attitude with the words "Well, That is That, [and] This is This" sprawled over.

My Grandma Had One of Those

The next biggest set up was the vintage 1960s General Electric speaker cabinet that Yanes completely refurbished. He told us how he had always wanted to work with a speaker cabinet like the GE one, and thanks to his wife who discovered an estate sale he was able to snag one up. After completely gutting the inside and installing a workable turntable and sound mixer, the speaker cabinet was modernized. Adding an "urban feel," as Yanes put it, was the open fire hydrant next to the speaker that had vibrant blue water spilling out.

Bronx Cheer

Aside from the GE speaker cabinet, Yanes had two other pieces that were working speakers. Throughout the night, the "King Nothing" and "Bronx Cheer" pieces were playing the same music as the DJ. There were event moments when Yanes himself would connect his phone to the speaker via Bluetooth and show members of the crowd how it worked.


Though Yanes is known for his woodwork, this piece, titled "Reincarnation," was made using old paint cans.

The most striking thing about "Humble" is all of the opposing colors and themes neatly blended into one: the rain clouds against a bright pink and yellow cloud, the bird (which looks to be like a part of a totem pole) atop of the kid's head and the facial expressions of each of the characters. There's so much to look at, and yet, you can't help but understand a sense of humility.

Good Vibes

This final piece, "Good Vibes," accurately describes the atmosphere of the gallery. It was a night full of good vibrations.

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