Are we actually going to make this happen?
Let’s make it happen. Let’s do it.
Give me your thirty-second bio.
A thirty-second bio. My name is Aric Weis. I was born in Montreal, Canada, raised in Miami. I own Adjust Gallery Miami. I am very involved in the hip hop scene, graffiti scene, street art scene. Been living in Miami for 32 years, and pretty much very fortunate and blessed to have a gallery in Wynwood and be able to have the ability to give individuals knowledge of these artists and who they are and what they do.
You’re a pretty young guy. Is the gallery your sole source of income, or do you have a day job?
Actually I have two. I own K-Brand Distributors; I do all the distribution for all of the cruise lines in the United States. And I also do Adjust Gallery Miami, which is my other job.
So why did you open Adjust?
I opened Adjust because I feel in Wynwood there’s tons of street art, there’s tons of graffiti, and there was never a street art gallery that opened. And I opened Adjust Gallery Miami for artists themselves to have the ability to come to Wynwood and showcase their art in a street art gallery.
I want people to adjust to different cultures and mediums and diversity. You know, life is about adjusting and being a chameleon. You have to adjust to every step you make.
I did it just for the love of street art and graffiti. I think we need it. I think it needs a gallery in Miami to let individuals know what street art is, to give them knowledge and to support the scene. It’’s so important.
Totally. Are you an artist?
I am an artist. I basically since I was 16, I started break dancing. And from there I started my own b-boy crew called BYD, which is called Bring Your Dosage Crew.
And from there, that started me into the street scene of things. Once I started breaking, I started my own b-boy crew that’s gone from Florida to California to Europe to around the world. And that’s what really made me support and have the love for hip hop. Not only for hip hop, but for all elements of hip hop. You know, which is graffiti, MC, b-boying, scratching, you know, all elements. And that’s what really brought me to love what I’m doing. And I do it because I love it. I love it and it comes from my heart.
Who was the first artist you had at Adjust?
In 2009 I did for Art Basel a collaboration with about 30 artists. It wasn’t really a street art exhibit. But my first exhibit, I filled a 5000-square-foot gallery in three-and-a-half days with Ellis G, and I did a documentary on it. Check it out. It’’s amazing. I had a producer come down from LA, and I was hoping to pitch it to galleries, television shows, to try to start getting a series going so that people have, you know, individuals in this world have something to see what street art is about. And that’’s exactly what I’ve been doing there.
You’ve had some pretty well-known people that have exhibited with Adjust. You mentioned Ellis G, you’ve had Quake, you’’ve had Teck, and most recently Chor Boogie. How did those collaborations happen?
For me, I actually start a friendship. I met these artists through just being humbled and blessed for them blessing us in Wynwood, and introducing myself and starting a relationship like that. And that’’s how I do it. I introduce myself, I give them my card, “I own a street art gallery in Miami. It would be an honor and a blessing to do an exhibit with you,” and that’’s how I do it. I network stay in touch with these artists make it more of a personal friendship.
So if you could have your dream artist show at Adjust, who would it be?
That’s a really good question. Wow. I have to be honest with you; probably …it would be……who would it be? You know what? It’s so hard because there are so many artists out there that I’m just totally in love with when it comes down to street art. Um,… I can’t really pick just one!
Ok, I’ll give you four...
[laughs] That’s a little more than one! But that would make a really cool show, especially to bring all those guys together.
I can’t give you one artist that I would love to do a show with; there’s tons of artists, and it’ll happen in time because the art thing takes time to get in to. It doesn’t happen overnight. You have to put in the work, you have to be in the scene, you have to know who’s who, who’s doing what, it’s like anything else. You have to put in time and effort. And it’s so nice to put in the time and effort and see what happens and see how beautiful it comes out to be. When you’re able to curate a show. When you’re able to film a documentary on an artist. It’s all just positive.
If there’s one thing in the world I would want to be surrounded by, that would be creativity and imagination. That’s it. You know, because that’s what gives you your individuality, makes you who you are. That’s what separates each person’s art —individuality. And it’s so important for me to let others know that— stay close to your individuality and stay close to what you do, and just stay confident in what you’re doing, and eventually your art will progress. Eventually, put in the time and effort, but it’s gonna be a win-win for you. It’s a win-win no matter what.
When you’re wanting to put a show together, and you’re starting from a blank wall, what makes an artist attractive to you and to Adjust Gallery?
What makes an artist attractive to me and to Adjust Gallery? Very good question. I’ll tell you what it is. It’s really hitting these heavy hitters that are making things happen in this world that are actually transcending cultures—, cultures aren’t transcending them. And that’s what I want to bring to Adjust Gallery— artists that are transcending cultures. Artists that are transcending street art. And that’s what it’s all about. Artists that are making changes. We could talk and talk and talk, but it’s all about really doing and making things happen and taking things into action. That’s what makes the difference in someone: talking and doing.
So, talking about doing, what events do you have coming up at Adjust?
I actually rented out Adjust Gallery for Art Basel, but I actually have about nine walls. I’m collaborating with The Free Humanity, Cope2 and his crew, Tristan Eaton, Baca Crew, Ellis G, Citizen and Cyst, EwokOne, Ben Eine, Rick Midler, Lynn Garcia, Remote and by time goes along to Art Basel I’ll be picking up more artists.
How do you acquire the walls? How do you get the ok?
I’ll be honest with you. This is how I acquire walls: I actually knock on the owner’s door, and I say, “Look, you have a wall here. Is it possible to have an artist come here and do something really amazing, beautiful artwork to bring some life to this wall, to bring some electricity to this wall? And if you don’t like it, I’’ll be more than welcome to go over it.” And in most cases they say, “Yes! Please, go ahead! Have fun with it. Take the wall.”
So, let’’s say they like it, and it just stays up …forever?
I usually like to flip the script. I like to keep things up for like 6 months, buff over it, and have another artist bless a wall. But sometimes I usually leave the wall painted until the next Art Basel. It just all depends.
So let’s say that they don’’t like it. How quickly do you pull it down?
If they don’t like it, honestly, they just paint over it.
I don’t make money off of this. I don’’t make nothing off of this. I do out of the love for the art, and I do this for Wynwood, to bring this creativity into Wynwood. I do all of this just for the love, to be blessed, to meet artists, to network with artists, to be able to do exhibits at my gallery down the line, and at the same time to make Wynwood look beautiful.
I’m a private owner in Wynwood, so I’’m actually someone who’’s making things happen. I could talk and talk, and say what I want to do, and do this and do this, but I’’m actually taking action and doing it. And making it happen.
That’s great. Not only is it good for the area, I mean a massive art district, but it’’s good for you and for you to get out there and meet people.
It’s great exposure for me, and it’s great exposure for the artists, and it’s really a win-win situation for everybody. It’s a win-win.
If I have to pay for their cans, if I have to supply them with paint, I’ll do that. I’m not getting sponsors to sponsor me for cans or for this or that, I do this out of straight out love for graffiti, for street art, and to really be blessed. And I’m fortunate to be blessed to be able to do what I’m doing for the scene. And that’s what it comes down to. Just being humbled and being fortunate and blessed. To network with artists, and for artists to know who I am. A lot of artists come up to me and they say, “Thank you so much for what you’re doing,” and I’’m like, “Bro, don’t thank me, man. It’s all love, you know. It takes all of us to spread this around.”
We need more of this. We need more people to get involved. We need more involvement, you know. And that’s what it’’s about.
For more on Adjust Gallery Miami, check out and like its Facebook page.
If you’’re in the Miami area, you don’t want to miss this year’s Art Basel, December 1-4, 2011. The walls that Aric is curating for this year’s event are on 23rd and 24th Street in Wynwood, just off 2nd Avenue. (Actual locations will be listed on the Adjust Gallery Miami’ Facebook page.)
Jane Anderson is a marketing consultant and art enthusiast, currently residing in the ‘’burbs of North Texas. A wannabe writer, you can check out her blog o’’ randomness at NotPlainJane.Tumblr.com
Images Courtesy Stephanie Menjivar