VIDEO: Rashaad Newsome’s Noisy Parade Lights Up Miami

One of the paraders prominently carried a "Black Lives Matter" sign.

A crew of voguers, a dirtbike gang, customized cars, and a marching band made Miami come to life Tuesday night, courtesy of artist Rashaad Newsome.

The lively event was part of the exhibition “Unrealism,” curated by Jeffrey Deitch and Larry Gagosian, which has been generating buzz this week and includes artists like John Currin, Urs Fischer, Ella Kruglyanskaya, Elizabeth PeytonDavid Salle, and Walter Robinson. The parade started at the de la Cruz Collection and took an hour to wind its way just a few blocks to the site of the “Unrealism” show.

Newsome had organized the parade in his hometown of New Orleans, where it echoed Mardi Gras events. But, he told artnet News in a brief chat before the procession, doing the same event during Miami Art Week presented a new level of logistical challenge.

Another wrinkle to this project was the presence of the Miami Bike Life crew, who ride customized dirt bikes, popping wheelies and pulling tricks that make you fear for their safety. The riders are routinely pursued by the police, Newsome said, so their participation in an officially sanctioned event was ironic, to say the least.

Newsome has organized voguing balls in Brooklyn as well, and the crew he brought along Tuesday night wowed observers, especially when one of them fully jumped off the stage onto the concrete, landing on his back. Kevin, the dancer, was seen to be walking it off with a limp a bit later, but professed to be unhurt.

One of the paraders carried a “Black Lives Matter” sign near the front of the procession. Against the backdrop of the continuing struggle for racial equality and civil rights for African Americans, the event was a joyous vision of black celebration.

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