New York Times | The Super Bowl Is the Biggest Art Show in Miami

New York Times | The Super Bowl Is the Biggest Art Show in Miami Right Now
By Joseph B. Treaster
Jan. 29, 2020

The Super Bowl is back in Miami this year, and the organizers are giving a bear hug to the bold, exuberant street art that is a hallmark of the host city. Some of the brightest stars of street art — former skateboarders, surfers, break dancers and survivors of midnight raids on subway cars — have created fanciful murals to celebrate Super Bowl LIV. One nearly covers a side of a 34-story bank building. A painted, two-story bouquet of 32 balloons — one for each team in the league — commands a wall in the Miami Beach Convention Center. The game tickets and the Super Bowl program cover are an explosion of tropical colors, with a sparkling silver Vince Lombardi Trophy rising in the path of a galloping ball carrier.

This explosion of art is, in part, thanks to Jessica Goldman Srebnick, the chief executive of the real estate development firm Goldman Properties and a member of the Super Bowl host committee. She shepherded the installation of 18 supersized murals into the Miami Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium and lined up the artists to create pieces ahead of the big game, which will be played at the stadium on Sunday. The N.F.L.’s embrace of rambunctious street art is a shift away from the classic graphic designs it usually favors — and might help the organization broaden its appeal.

“This does take us into a world that is not mainstream,” said Mollie Wilkie, one of the league’s creative directors. “But we think there are things to learn from street art. It is youthful, modern and bold and I think that is something we need to explore as we finish our 100th season.” Street art has evolved, too. Cities and businesses around the world are now paying street artists — rather than trying to arrest them — and Miami is one of the exemplars. “Street art is part of the soul of Miami,” Ms. Wilkie added. “We wanted to capture that. We try to capture the spirit of the host city.” 

Joe Iurato
In the renegade days, graffiti artists used single stencils for quick hits. Now Joe Iurato, 47, from Cedar Grove, N.J., uses six layers of stencils to get detail, depth and tone. He is the rare street artist who works in black and white and creates his own portable billboard-like platforms. For the Super Bowl he’s painted murals of 10 striking moments in N.F.L. history, like the founding meeting of team owners in 1920 and the Miami Dolphins’ perfect season in 1972. Mr. Iurato’s work is on display near an entrance of the Miami Beach Convention Center.