Our Man in Miami: The Urban Hunter Goes After Even Bigger Game

The last time BlackBook caught up with Miami’s own David Josef Tamargo, the Urban Hunter was on the trail of South Florida’s mythic and mighty Giant Sloth. Whether the subsequent (and customary) capture and release of the great beast became the catalyst for even bigger game to come is anybody’s guess. What’s certain is that since Tamargo nailed his prey, more and more galleries came calling, in New York, Los Angeles and the MIA. As of this Saturday, the well-armed artist will have his imprint in all three cities, simultaneously.

LA’s poptART came first, as part of Bruce of Los Angeles: Beefcakes and Boundaries, a queer-cult hit that’s got Koreatown all aflutter. Tamargo and his number one co-conspirator, electronic media artist Lindsay Scoggins, both contributed Bruce-tuned pieces to the group exhibit, which runs through the end of the year. As if this wasn’t enough, their showing came almost hot on the heels of Scoggins’ curating of Royal/T’s reeling Party Animals, which saw the art house Bonnie & Clyde and an outlaw contingent of equally-inclined Miamians, such as Otto Von Schirach and TM Sisters included among the likes of Takashi Murakami, Jeff Koons, KAWS, and Yoshitomo Nara. Combined, the two make for one kickass double-shot no matter what the target.

In New York, the fearless nightsman is one of four Artists on the Prowl at Dino Eli Gallery. Representing, naturally, The Hunter to Gregory de la Haba’s The Wanderer, AdlerA.F.’s The Trash Collector and TMNK, akaNOBODY’s The Street Master, Tamargo’s mark in the just-opened show is about as indelible as his quarry. That is to say, it’s an unequivocal look at the Urban Hunter in all action.

This weekend, which in Miami means Second Saturday, Tamargo’s going completely solo at Product/81 Gallery, perhaps Wynwood’s most supportive art space. The show, simply titled The Urban Hunter, is made possible by FORDISTAScu4tro, a creative arm of the car company created by gallerists Alex Fernandez-Casais & Bíbí Loulou, who, says Tamargo, set aside a generous portion of the the proceeds received from various guerrilla marketing endeavors solely to enable artists to realize their vision.

“Serving as a visual journey into situational fantasy,” state the program notes, “Tamargo uses landscapes to focus on the formation of identity. In his series, a lone man wanders the uninhabited world of present day Miami to reveal secrets lurking in the dead of night.” What said notes only hint at though is the notion that The Urban Hunter is not just pursuing game that’s never before been pursued; he’s boldly treading where no one has ever before tread.

To see a wily and well-armed artist lighting out to uncharted territories is indeed an inspiring sight to behold. My only beef is that with Tamargo gone solo I don’t get the honor of joining another of his adventuresome expeditions. May there be even bigger game to come.

Photo by David Josef Tamargo.

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