Exclusive: Inside Rashaad Newsome’s Miami Art Parade

Consider voguing through the streets as an art installation.

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Dec 3 2015, 2:10pm

King of Arms New Orleans. Courtesy of Rashaad Newsome

A motley mix of vogueing dancers, leather-clad bikers, the underground ATV and dirt bike riders, Bike Life Crew, and the Florida Memorial University Lion Pride Marching Band paraded through the streets of Miami for a performance on Monday. Artist Rashaad Newsome assembled the crew for the work, entitled, King of Arms Miami.

The performance kicked off the ambitious 20,0000-square foot Jeffrey Deitch and Larry Gagosian exhibition, Unrealism, a massive cross-section of figurative representation in art right now. King of Arms Miami aims to connect Unrealism to the themes of Newsome's collage and video works that explore status and power. By marching through the streets of Miami, Newsome shines a spotlight on local cultural. King of Arms Miami draws inspiration from Newsome's 2012 Mardi Gras Indian led procession in New Orleans and features Newsome in his tricked-out Lamborghini.

"This procession is the opening ceremony for the Unrealism exhibition," explains Newsome to The Creators Project. The artist recently left the gallery roster of Marlborough Chelsea and is pursuing other forms of representation. "When I started to think about the idea of representational work and how there are a lot of communities and people who are not being represented, and thinking about Miami as a landscape and how segregated it can be, I put together a parade crew." The artist blends creative communities from various Miami scenes, who, he says, "are taking space in radical ways." 

The 80-person King of Arms Miami parade started at the de la Cruz Collection contemporary art space. The Bike Life Crew lead the parade, performing stunts and weaving through the streets of Miami's Design District. The 45-minute performance finished inside the courtyard of the Design and Architecture Senior High School where "queer majorettes" performed the elements that make up the language of Vogue Femme.

"The parade is a platform for the crew to perform for an art audience and really be seen for the talent that they have," says Newsome. "It' about making visible people who are not as visible, specifically in the context of Miami Basel," he adds. "It's a parade of blackness and all of its beauty."

Below view an exclusive clip of the King of Arms Miami rehearsals:

Unrealism goes on view December 3- 6 in the Moore Building. For more information, click here.

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