Story | Miami Vice : Art, Champagne and Tacos

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Intro

I’m not going to start this post by telling you how I always wanted to go to Miami. In fact, Miami has always been at the very bottom of my travel bucket list, along with Vegas and other soul-less/superficial destinations like that.

I might sound judgmental, and you’re right I’m kind of saying this out of prejudice, but before I traveled to Miami I thought it was a place where a bunch of rich kids went to get wasted on a beach and showoff their cars, yachts or whatever they have to brag about.

Kind of like Vegas to me, seems like a strip of ugly hotels with humongous cheap fountains and cheap looking people (sorry if you’ve been there and loved it.)

These places,  have the same ‘’WOW effect’’ on me as if I saw a very confident man come out of his Lamborghini in his fancy suit, trying to impress everyone but as soon as he starts talking I fall asleep. A shell without a soul. 

However, when I found out Miami had one of the biggest street art festivals in the world, it drastically changed my opinion of the Miami game.

 
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Architecture

The city also has the highest concentration of Art Deco buildings in the world, which is one of my favourite architectural styles ever.  They were almost destroyed in the 50’s to be turned into condos (a very Miami thing to do) but they survived thanks to a handful of activists who founded a design preservation group. Thanks guys! 

So basically,  for these two reasons,  I was pretty stocked when I decided I would head down to Miami Art Basel to shoot some Street Art and Art Deco photography.

 
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Art, champagne and tacos

Once I arrived in Miami, I found out two of my good friends would be there and I ended up getting invited to many other really cool art fairs such as Pulse and Spectrum, so the trip ended up being pretty exciting (and exhausting) after all.

If I was to resume the 5 days I spent there in a few words, It be : art, more art, champagne, art, open bars, art, art, champagne, tacos, more art. Perfection, I know. 

Basically, all I did was walk into galleries, hotels and events with my two partners in crime, Audrey and Olivier, check out some art, chat with artists and have a good time.  Sometimes, we were invited and sometimes, we weren’t but those who know me well know I rarely take no for answer.

 
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Miami vice

That’s when Miami turned into Miami Vice and we started acting like we were in a James Bond movie. Actually, we were more like Bonnie & Clyde.  Jumping fences, infiltrating billionaire parties through alleyways, running through hallways, hiding behind garbage bins, rolling on the ground, taking elevators without knowing where we’d end up. 

Honestly, this part of the trip was even better than being invited to these A-list parties.  We were like kids and we didn’t give a fuck of what people thought of us.

Sometimes, we’d even choose to go through the front door and even if there were 3 huge mean looking bodyguards in suits they’d let us right in because we were so dressed to impressed and confident they thought we were celebrities.  

 
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It was truly epic. It was like I expected so much to happen with all the cool art events going on everywhere but what I created in my own world was even better.

This trip also reminded me that in life, you can do whatever the fuck you want. 

It’s all a game. It’s all about confidence.  No one at these parties seemed like they were having a blast, but we were, because we knew how we got there.

It’s like when you succeed in your personal endeavours, projects, goals…. It’s always a struggle to get there. It comes with sweat and tears.   But when you do, you’re so happy & proud you finally made it. You’re like started from the bottom now I’m here. (lol).  

 
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Growing up, I went to private schools. I’m from a middle class family and my mom sacrificed a lot to give me the best education out there. During CEGEP I was surrounded with people driving BMW's and eating sushi for lunch while I drove my beaten 500,00$ car (I paid for) to go to class. Some of these people now have companies handed to them on silver platters.

I have to admit I use to be envious, but the thing I realized is that the level of appreciation and ‘’I made it’’ feeling might not be as great as the person who hustled to get there. Kind of like the people that were invited to that rooftop billionaire party, with unlimited oysters and champagne and didn’t seem like they weren’t having any fun (I know, how’s that possible?).    

 
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My wealth is my freedom

I had zero dollars given to me when I started the gallery.  I had to return empty beer cans to eat, had to mop floors, unblock toilets, had to go through many years saddled with debts.

When I quit my 9 to 5 job to become a freelancer, I had to hustle. I’m still hustling. But it doesn’t mean I can’t do whatever I decide I want to do. 

My wealth is my freedom.

It’s all about a mindset. About unshakeable faith that you can do whatever you want in life. 

You should try it. It’s fun.