Photo: Miami artist Alexander Mijares celebrated Art Basel with a private exhibit Dec. 8 on the lawn at the W South Beach (2201 Collins Ave.).
Attendees (including artist Mr. Brainwash and Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun) enjoyed cocktails, hors d’oeuvres – and apparently, Mijares’ talent. Ten of the artist’s 12 original acrylic paintings sold that night, with prices ranging from $2,500 to $18,000 (based on size).
“It was one of our biggest shows this year and confirmed that all of the hard work is paying off,” said Mijares, who turns 28 on Dec. 20.
A Miami native (with family from Cuba and Spain), Mijares attended Gulliver Prep School, Northeastern University in Boston and earned a master’s degree in Business Administration from Florida International University. After grad school, he intended to run his father’s business, MJM Manufacturing, a Hialeah-based company that fabricates precision sheet metal.
Mijares’ plans shifted a year and a half ago, after he moved into a downtown Miami apartment with a big, empty wall.
“Trying to find art was very hard,” he explained. “I found a piece that I liked but it cost $60,000. There was no way; that was not going to happen.”
Mijares went to the store, bought a roll of canvas and one paint brush (he says he wasn’t sure about the different brush sizes) and painted a 5-by-4-foot picture of a woman on a bicycle. He posted it on Facebook and got “lots of love”. Almost overnight, Mijares had become an artist.
An exhibition of his works followed in February at Baltus, a high-end furniture showroom in the Design District, as well as shows in Sante Fe, New Mexico, Ocean House in South Beach and one in the Hamptons.
Although he has been referred to as “the next generation’s Romero Britto,” Mijares describes his artistic style as “a mixture of street art meets Latin American art”. To date, he says he has over 10,000 Instagram followers (@mijaresart).
“Before I became an artist, I was very social,” admits the handsome young man, who now works at his father’s factory daily from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – and then goes home to paint from 4 p.m. until 1 a.m.
Mijares plans to continue marketing his art via events and shows, rather than at galleries. During the first quarter of 2013, he has exhibitions planned for Palm Beach, New York and L.A.
“I like the personal touch,” says Mijares. “I like to see who is taking the art with them, speak to them and understand their interpretation of my work.”
Check it out at www.Mijares.com.
Where do Jewish singles go on Christmas Eve? For many, it’s “The MatzoBall”. The 26th annual networking/matchmaking bash happens Monday, Dec. 24, 8 p.m. at LIV in the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.
The event was founded in 1987 by Boca Raton resident Andrew Rudnick (in his native Boston) to bring Jewish singles together on a night when most venues are closed. Last year over 2,200 attended the event at LIV.
This year, there will be eight MatzoBalls held simultaneously throughout the U.S., in cities including Fort Lauderdale and Delray Beach.
Rudnick, 48, jokes that he created the event “to avoid watching reruns of It’s a Wonderful Life and eating Chinese food on Christmas Eve”. He met his wife Cathryn, at a 1997 MatzoBall. The couple is married 13 years and has three children.