Arts & Culture

Houston Artists Use Graffiti To Grab Attention From Global Art Community

For a week in December, hundreds of street artists descend upon Miami’s Wynwood District. Several from Houston are leaving their mark, too.

Houston artist Nicky Davis with his mural in Miami Photo
Houston artist Nicky Davis with his mural in Miami Photo

It’s 8 p.m. but Nicky Davis’ workday is nowhere close to ending. He’s about to crawl onto a motorized lift to spray paint the side of a building in Miami’s Wynwood District. First, he’ll use some white paint to sketch a rough image on the concrete wall of a two-story vacant building.

“Right here, there’s going to be some vampires, some werewolves, and some polar bears,” he explains, motioning to the blank wall behind him.

Davis is one of several Houston artists who have come to the city to cover the place in graffiti and murals. The weeklong project draws hundreds of street artists from around the world. Until a few years ago, Houston didn’t have a very strong presence. Davis says that’s changing.

“In the global art world, I think we’re starting to get that presence,” he says. “Our notoriety is spreading as a city for street art.”

Sebastien Boileau is another Houston artist who’s painting in Miami this week. He’s been coming out here for several years – first as a spectator, then as a participant. He says Houston artists appear to be on a mission.

“There has been a stigma when it comes to Houston, that it wasn’t as cool or as competitive as New York, L.A. or Miami,” Boileau says. “So I think a lot of artists have something to prove.”

The Wynwood Walls event is held during Art Basel, the global art fair held each December in Miami Beach. It wraps up Sunday.

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