Grahame’s Relocation to Miami
Specialized decorative artist and muralist Grahame Ménage’s work runs the gamut from large scale murals and intricate designs, to restoration of antique French and Italian painted furniture, to commissioned paintings. Across thirty years of experience, he’s worked as a scenic artist for legendary venues like The Welsh National Opera and The National Theatre of Great Britain.
He can now also add the title ‘Miamian’ to his impressive repertoire. Less than a year after moving to the Magic City, the London-native quickly realized there was more to the city than most tourists imagine.
“It’s so obvious to me now that the city is much, much more than beach, nightlife and entertainment,” he says, referring to the city’s burgeoning art scene which he affectionately calls “the tropical Mecca for the art world.”
He admits he is still new to Miami life, but that hasn’t diminished Grahame’s desire to immerse himself completely in the city’s art culture and scene.
“My intention is to be a part of the institution, with a reputation to suit,” he explains. “I like to feel that I have joined artists, collectors and blue-chip art dealers who have fallen in love with the locale and turned Miami into their own playground.”
If you ask him to pinpoint just what it is that makes Miami so magical, the reasons are endless. “It’s difficult to exactly put your finger on exactly why you are drawn here,” he says. “The clear skies, sunsets, passion, vibrancy, music and the proximity of the ocean. All of these and more.”
Progression of Miami art-scene & culture
Over thirty years ago, when violent drug cartel battles, skyrocketing murder rates and the Mariel boat lift fiasco rocked the city, a Time Magazine cover story dubbed Miami “Paradise Lost.”
Fascinatingly enough, despite turmoil, stigma and a general sense of hopelessness, the city still managed to birth one of the strongest artistic and cultural communities in the world. A coalition of arts visionaries, civic leaders and benefactors bravely fought to open galleries featuring artists like Andy Warhol, Frank Stella and Christo. Street art proliferated. According to Grahame, with a couple hundred cans of paint, three self-described “street kids” initiated a wasteland’s radical rebirth and put street art back onto the world stage, transforming barren industrial zones into the city’s best known Art and Design districts, at the epicenter is a dreamland of sorts which we now fondly call Wynwood.
Just as an incoming musician feels at home in New Orleans, Grahame says he feels that in Miami, he’s in his element; relaxed (but not too much) and surrounded by inspirational art and artists of all genres.
“Thirty years ago, the number of venues where you could go to see contemporary art was extremely limited,” says Grahame. “Miami today has amazing venues for all the arts, and is a city that is constantly changing; an evolving art renaissance that has now completely emerged from the ashes of the city's darkest era.”