12ozProphet Presents: QUIRK DME X Bazooka Films 77
Even in January, the nights are warm in Miami, Florida. Warm enough to walk around with your jacket unbuttoned, with no gloves or hat, just a bag of cans and time to kill. As we strolled around the city with QUIRK DME we remarked that while we were enjoying the occasional cool breeze, the rest of the country was preparing for the winter storm of the decade. What a time to be alive we thought, as QUIRK busted out tag after tag and led us on a tour of a new Miami we hardly recognized.
In recent years Miami has become quite the destination for writers and street artists. As home to Art Basel, the city has opened it’s arms to artists, inviting them to redefine entire neighborhoods as their own. In many ways it has help to revitalize the cultural life blood of a city stuck in the past. The Wynwood neighborhood in particular has become the place to go to see murals from some of the biggest names in graffiti. Huge, intricate and multi-colored murals fill the Wynwood walls, a beautiful collection of styles, but far from what we remember Miami, and graffiti for that matter, to be.
QUIRK gets it. Though much younger, he too came up at a time in Miami when piecing and even fill ins were a rarity. As he and his friends began to attack the city people were surprised they would catch fills and rock burners in the city, it just wasn’t worth it to everyone else. One of the few walls QUIRK remembers being pieced out is the one below, found on Oakland Park Blvd. and rocked by early members of the DME crew. That wall, QUIRK says, inspired a lot of kids coming up in the area, and that crew, would eventually adopt him as one of their own.
Few people realize, or remember at this point, that 12ozProphet called Miami home for many of our early years. Before we moved up to New York City, we published the magazine and operated a mail order business out of Miami, the city many of us grew up in. We have strong ties to the graffiti scene there, it shaped not only our style, but also our outlook on the scene. In those days the city was all about bombing, and so that’s what we came to value most.
That was nearly a decade before QUIRK would hit the scene, but something about the way he paints recalls that mentality. Maybe it’s his disdain for the Wynwood area, or that he didn’t take us to rock a piece, or maybe again it was just being back home and out on the streets, but in that moment we were transported back to the 12ozProphet of yesteryear.
As we watched QUIRK catch tag after tag it reminded us of a different era. It reminded us of people grilling I-95 with tags, then throws, and then this massive wall by CROOK and CHROME. It reminded us that Miami is more than just bougie brand parties, stuffy galleries and technicolor piecing. It reminded us that hope isn’t lost for those who appreciate bombing, because people like QUIRK are still out there putting in work, paying dues and trying once again to redefine what graffiti means to Miami.