Aiko

[
TOKYO, JAPAN
]

The fun-loving and sexy energy of Aiko's wall...

for Wynwood is palpable. The Japanese artist, who resides in Brooklyn, had just returned home from Rome when she heard from Jeffrey Deitch about the mural project. "I was inspired by the classical elements in Rome and its streets and museums when I began to sketch the images. Also, Miami is place for parties—people come there to have good time, and I wanted to make something gorgeous, festive, exciting for everyone, with positive energy."

Aiko arrived in Wynwood in 2009 with a special tube containing the large-scale hand-cut stencils that she had spent days preparing in her studio. She had already been painting murals in public spaces, from before street art had the massive appeal that is does today, but the Wynwood wall was one of the biggest opportunities she had been given, and she knew that this one would be extra special and challenging. To help her in the laborious process of filling in the colors and positioning the stencils, she invited her best girlfriends from Los Angeles and Tokyo. The most memorable part of her experience was spending time with them and the other participants, exchanging ideas, sharing techniques and enjoying some time-out in Miami.

One of the best surprises for Aiko at the Wynwood Walls was the opening performance by a New Orleans music and dance crew named Big Freedia. She had no idea that their bounce music and "ass in the air" dance moves would complement perfectly the mural she had spent many more days and nights creating. The coincidence was also felt by Big Freedia, who wondered whether the wall was made in anticipation of the performance. Since their meeting the two artists have collaborated on other projects, with Aiko's bikini-clad ladies provocatively shaking their hips on T-shirts and stage banners.

"I'm very happy to see that every year the Wynwood district becomes a more central place for art and lots of people are getting to see the murals."