What to See in Downtown Miami by Ernesto Kunde

Perez Art Museum Miami

(formerly Miami Art Museum) 

Miami’s new museum opens to the public with a bang during Basel, featuring a highly anticipated exhibition by Chinese  artist Ai WeiweiAccording to What? is the first major international survey of this notorious artist’s complex body of work. The construction of PAMM, a billion-dollar museum, represents the growth of Miami as a legitimate player in arts and culture.  It’s the first building to rise in the downtown’s new Museum Park (formerly Bicentennial Park). Simply a must-see.


Several blocks away from PAMM, sits Primary Projects’ stunning new gallery. The 5,000-square-foot space, opening its doors to the public for the first time during Art Basel, is devoted to showcasing what’s next in contemporary art. Partners Booksllll “Books” Bischof, Typoe, and Cristina Gonzalez are at the helm and their track record is stellar – in galleries and on the streets. Primary Flight is their work of genius. It’s a world-renowned mural installation project that transforms the walls of Wynwood — from barren to brazen – each year.

Artist to Watch: LA artist Kenton Parker inaugurates the new Primary Projects space with Contender, a solo show dedicated to self-portraiture through sculpture, painting, installation and photography. Through the use of universal scenarios like fighting, purging, nudity and apathy, Parker invites guests to explore their memories in the “safe space” he’s created.


Miami-Dade Country Art in Public Places debuts its first temporary public art commission with a four-night installation that’s designed to serve as the backdrop for the “most exclusive VIP party of Art Basel,” according to Brandi Reddick, curator for Art in Public Places. Local artists Jim Drain and Bhakti Baxter created M|/\M|M/\X to celebrate the completion of their respective projects at PortMiami. Visible from I-395 and Government Cut in downtown Miami, the “secret” party will take place nightly from Dec. 4 – 7 in the cargo containers located on the waterfront. Visit miamidadepublicart.org for details if the organizers decide to release them.


Nestled deep within downtown Miami is the art fair Pulse, a progressive blend of acclaimed and innovative contemporary artists presented in tandem with special event programming throughout the week.

What to See in Midtown by Ernesto Kunde


A stroll through this substantial art fair is arguably on every Baseler’s to-do list. Featuring more than 125 international galleries in a chic setting, Art Miami is the longest-running contemporary art fair in Miami. It anchors Art Basel in the Midtown neighborhood of Miami proper and welcomes about 60,000 visitors each year.


CONTEXT, the sister fair to Art Miami, provides a platform for 65 international galleries to showcase cutting-edge and emerging talent in an open atmosphere. Now in its second year, the fair will take place in a standalone 45,000-square-foot pavilion directly adjacent to the Art Miami Pavilion joined by an outdoor café, lounge and curated outdoor art exhibition.


Red Dot is also located next to Art Miami in Midtown. While this fair is a bit smaller, it prides itself on showing a diverse selection of paintings, sculptures, photography and fine-art objects from nearly 60 galleries.

What to See in Wynwood by Ernesto Kunde

There are more than 60 art galleries in Wynwood along with restaurants, bars, and shops for uncommon goods. The streets of the arts district, a fairly condensed area, come alive during Basel as each business presents special programming to honor Art Basel. 


There’s an incubator of creativity in a quiet part of Wynwood called the Bakehouse Art Complex. It’s home to about 70 working artist studios. Roam through the halls of the 30,000-square-foot facility to see incredible yet affordable art by local artists. The BAC’s special Basel exhibition Together We Fly, by curator Ananda DeMello, inspired the artists to go beyond their usual medium as they transformed utilitarian objects into works of art.


Artist to Watch: BAC resident artist Ernesto Kunde takes an abstract approach to painting iconic Miami scenes and mangroves with cues from the street. He typically paints striking scenes on found wood and corrugated aluminum in black and white with streaks of bright neon colors.

Rubell Family Collection

The Rubell Family Collection is one of the world’s largest, privately owned contemporary art collections. Its founders, Mera and Don Rubell, are pioneers and their Basel exhibitions never disappoint. This year, they unveil 28 Chinese. It’s a culmination of their five research trips to China in which they visited 100 hundred artists’ studios in Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Hong Kong, and Shanghai from 2001 – 2012. They acquired work from 28 artists and this exhibition marks the first U.S. showing for many of them.

Li Shurui  ,   Inner Rainbow  , 2011, acrylic on canvas, 70 7/8 x 94 1/2 in. (180 x 240 cm)李姝睿, 室内彩虹, 2011, 布面丙烯, 70 7/8 x 94 1/2 寸 (180 x 240 厘米)

Li ShuruiInner Rainbow, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 70 7/8 x 94 1/2 in. (180 x 240 cm)李姝睿, 室内彩虹, 2011, 布面丙烯, 70 7/8 x 94 1/2 寸 (180 x 240 厘米)

Inside Look at Scope | Miami 2012 by Ernesto Kunde


SCOPE Miami 2012 Vernissage in Midtown is moving full steam ahead with the first view. Over a 100 galleries featured international contemporary artists, proving a real challenge for the art-enthusiast to see it all. Every year, SCOPE has grown exponentially at Art Basel. When the doors opened at 4pm, everyone from collectors, dealers, general VIPs, and press took to the floors to get a glimpse of the absolute best in fine arts today.  SCOPE is also recognized for exhibiting emerging artists with fresh voices.

As a young man, Ernesto Kunde worked on his father’s farm in Rio Grande de Sul, Brazil near to where he sold his first painting of bananas hanging upside down. He says that his work is tied to the earth, using sustainable materials when he paints, such as pieces of scrap wood, which he then treats and burns with old phone books, to give the wood a black, scorched texture. Painting with the natural grain is important in his art; it brings to life a course movement as though one could count the rings on a chopped tree. His works also tend to comment on political and social upheaval, focusing on the subject of disenfranchisement of invisible people leading up to full-scale culture wars. Ernesto Kunde’s wood paintings have also been featured in the Boca Raton museum and he now lives in Miami Shores. www.kundeart.com.


Ernesto Kunde's Cigarette Breaks Brazillian-Born Artist Switches It Up -- From Buildings and Mangroves to Unemployment and Homelessness. by Ernesto Kunde

September 6, 2012|By Colleen Dougher, Correspondent


Ernesto Kunde in his studio. (Ernesto Kunde/Courtesy )

Some artists are very concerned with developing one signature style. Ernesto Kunde has several very distinctstyles and uses them to stay balanced.

When creating works for "Nostalgic," a series that depicts iconic Miami buildings and streets, Kunde typically paints on canvas using black-and-white acrylics and adds vibrant colors to depict sunlight and sky. Recently, he's also been painting images of mangroves.

In his darker mixed-media works, the Brazilian-born artist addresses subjects such as revolution, homelessness and unemployment, using black-and-white charcoal, pastels, paint and sometimes objects such as mesh or nails on panels of found wood. When displaying them in a gallery, he stacks 25 themed 11-inch wood panels in cylindrical sculptures or atop one another against a wall.

After doing darker works, he transitions back to mangroves and Miami buildings. Kunde likens these shifts to a cigarette break. "It's good to have that balance," he says. "I don't smoke, but it's like smoking to switch to the brighter stuff."

Kunde seems to be bursting with more ideas than usual since moving to the Bakehouse Art Complex in Miami nine months ago. "It's the first time I'm really sharing a place with 70 other artists of totally different ages and characters," he says.

This has led to even more connections and exhibition opportunities. Already this month, his works have been included in three Miami shows, and three more group shows are on the agenda.

"From Blonde to Brunette But Still Curly," a 23-artist exhibition highlighting old techniques in contemporary art, opens Friday at Bakehouse Art Complex and includes "Anticipation," the painting Kunde says marks the transition from his old approach to his new style. He will also exhibit the "Homeless and Jobless" series at "Made in the U.S.A.," which will be on display at Mano Fine Art in Miami during the Sept. 15 Bird Road Art Walk.

Then, Kunde will be gearing up for "Yo Momma in the House," the Sept. 19 show that Miami artist and art supporter Myra Wexler is curating at 12345 W. Dixie Studio and Gallery in North Miami. For that show, Kunde and dozens of other artists have created portraits of Wexler.

"I'm excited about this next month," Kunde says. "The sky's the limit."

The artist, who began painting landscapes and still-life images in 1990, says he's influenced by what surrounds him. In 2008, after he and his wife moved to Miami to start a family, Kunde started producing brightly colored acrylic paintings of teddy bears, rubber ducks and ladybugs, while continuing to do other works. Last year, he moved on to his Miami- and mangrove-inspired paintings and the works on wood.

His latest works-on-wood collection is "Homeless and Jobless." He began the series shortly after the economy took a dive, but then became immersed in works he describes as more commercial. This year — after observing even more people sleeping on the street or asking for money than a few years ago — he got back to the series. He hopes his art reminds others that homelessness remains a growing problem.

"We pass by these people every day and nobody does anything for them," he says.

All Florida Competition and Exhibition by Ernesto Kunde

60th Annual All Florida Juried Competition and Exhibition
June 29 - September 11, 2011

As the state’s oldest annual juried competition, over the years, the Museum’s All Florida has introduced the work of thousands of Florida artists working in all media – emerging, under recognized, and established younger and mid-career artists. The Exhibition reinforces the Museum’s commitment to Florida artists, provides professional exhibition opportunities for emerging artists, and reveals a provocative glimpse – through Florida artists’ eyes – of the state-of-the-art today through 101 paintings, sculpture, photography, video and installations.

The juror for the 60th Annual All Florida is Valerie Ann Leeds. Ms. Leeds is an independent scholar living in New Jersey. She serves as adjunct curator of American Art at the Flint Institute of Arts, Michigan, and prior to that held curatorial positions at the Orlando Museum of Art, the Tampa Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. She earned her M.A. at Syracuse University, and her Ph.D. in American Art at the City University of New York. Dr. Leeds is an expert on the work of Robert Henri, and has organized exhibitions, lectured and written on various topics in American Art.

The Museum once again utilized the electronic online web-service, CaFÉ, www.callforentry.org to accept all applications. This year over 1,800 artworks by 600 artists were submitted for consideration. The final exhibition entries total 101 works by the following artists:

Amalia Brujis

Boca Raton
Pat Bluestein
Wes Carson 
Marcela Colina
Joel Cossrow
Gael Fernandez
Robin Genin
Laura Greenstein
Malcolm Gropper
Melanie Hurwitz
Francene Levinson
Gerardo Moran
Barry Rosson
Robert Schwartzman

Bonita Springs
Robert Sherry

Boynton Beach
Robert Blitz
Patricia Durr-Turo
Teresa Frazee
Miles Laventhall
Russell Levine
Krista Machovina
Carole Usdan
Dennis Usdan

Dan Strothers

Grace Leal

Coconut Creek
Marina Gonella

Coral Gables
Heidi Harum
Paul Morales
Bonnie Wolsk

Coral Springs
Candy Childrey
Jeff Olson
Elizabeth Reed

Deerfield Beach
Georgeta Fondos
Joy Goldkind

Delray Beach
David Gillman
Daniel McGavin
Chris O’Connell
Gary Schuitema
Roxene Sloate
Lemore Zausner

El Portal
P.J. Mills

Fort Lauderdale
Linda Fleishman
Nolan Haan

Lauren Lake
Melanie Peter
Kenneth Wilson

Gulf Stream
Gwen Gove

Virginia Fifield

Virginia Cantore
Laurie Hitzig
Larry Wilson

Jensen Beach
Maria Aguirre

Juno Beach
Joanne Slattery

Jon Fernans
Sonya Gaskell

Lake Worth
Clarence Measelle

Kelly Sturhahn

Lake Worth
Rosemary Toulas

Terre Rybovich
Sid Walesh

Joshua Almond

Merritt Island
Susan Martin

Patricia Gutierrez
Hugo Moro
Marcia Ramos-Perello
Thomas Virgin

Miami Beach
Molly Bowen
Byron Byrd
Mira Lehr

Miami Shores
Ernesto Kunde

Joan Sonnenberg

Ocean Ridge
Simone Koffman

Hilary Pulitzer

Joshua Freeman

Ormond Beach
Rick Crawford

Palm Beach Gardens
Emalee Andre
Carin Wagner-Brown

Ewa Wlodarczyk


Port Orange
Hillary Gross

St. Augustine
Eleanor Hughes

St. Petersburg
Kathleen Stroud

Larry Forgard

Southwest Ranches
N. Herkert

Janet Prycznski

Petey Cox
Chris Kling
Sylvia Pattee
Alia Sanchez
Paula Rubino

Pierre Bland

Stephen Holm
Noelle Mason

David Willison

Vero Beach
Ellen Fischer
Betsy McKean

The Villages
Roger Sherman

West Palm Beach
Deborah Bigeleisen
Alyssa di Edwardo
Brennan King

Michael Harris
Janet Onofrey

Afraid by Ernesto Kunde

“Revolution Narrative” captured Best in Show at Spectrum 2011, which closed May 19 at Rossetti Fine Art.

“When he sent me an image of ‘Revolution Narrative,’ I was very impressed,” says gallery owner Tom Rossetti. “I said, ‘Now that is the direction in which you should move.’ When I saw it in person, I knew that it was the best in show. Not only were the drawings sound and well-executed, but there were 25 of them drawn and painted on wood. There were nails, wire and mesh, all incorporated into the work. All of the pieces were politically charged with depictions of war and violence.

“Then, to top it all off, he assembled the pieces into a sculpture in the round,” Rossetti continues. “The piece stands over 5 feet tall and demands attention. This is what art is — pushing the limits of the medium, making a statement and taking risks.”