Shaun Roberts photographed street artists Eddie Colla and D Young V during Basel Miami Beach, and we were amazed at the results.  We asked Mr. Colla if he could give his take on the experience, rather than us make up a bunch of bullshit about what they did or didn’t do.  Enjoy…

“I sit my ass down on the plane, as relaxed as I’ve been in a month. There’s nothin left to do but sleep. Me and D are headed to Miami, to show our work  at The W Hotel, South Beach. That’s pretty funny, it’s cool, but really, it’s kinda funny. Through the good graces of White Walls and The Arts Fund we’re goin to the olympics of art. The flight’s too short to get a nights sleep , so we stumble off the plane in need of coffee. We pull up at a bench and with our coffees and just kinda stare at passing cars. Our rooms not ready to check into, our contacts aren’t here yet, so we just sit in front of the airport doin nothin for a couple hours.

It’s hot in Miami, hotter than I expected for December, and across the street from our hotel is the Beach… A warm beach, with warm water, a rarity if you’re from the Bay Area.  We get into that water and everything just disappears. Deadlines, shows, openings, whatever. Art openings really pale in comparison to a warm white sand beach in December with occasional topless chicks. We just float around out there for a few hours philosophizing or pontificating and shooting the shit about how last December we’d never imagine being here. Dave talks about Sci-fi plots and I talk about shit I heard on NPR. We go over where we’ve been and where we want to go.

The week that follows is a barrage of what you might expect. Openings and hangin work and wandering Miami til 5 am every night covered in wheatpaste looking for food that won’t haunt you the next day and good spots to paste. Getting up and getting buffed and realizing that Shaun Roberts has almost as good an eye for cops as for composition. All this surreal stuff, like the residences at the W Hotel, being filmed by a crew, paying 16 bucks for a shitty Rum and Coke and seeing marginally famous people…  Meeting a Greek guy that makes pizza and a Russian that makes bagels and an Israeli that sells bathing suits. It’s all what you might expect, Me and D and Shaun drinkin coffee and jumping fences and debating the use of public space with Sgt. Martinez of the Miami Police. Eating plantain omelets and finding that the hotel, where the chainsaw scene from scarface was filmed, is now a Johnny Rockets.

That first few hours, floating there in the ocean, was the important moment though, the line of demarcation between everything that was and everything that will be. You could just kinda feel it, everything just paused. One chapter ended and a new one started. We’ll see.”

– Eddie Colla

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All photos copyright Shaun Roberts 2010