In 2005, in the middle of the real estate boom in South Florida, I began taking photographs of of buildings that fell victim to the need for more land to build on. One of these buildings was a humble apartment building, no more than 15 units, at most. Latin music, parties, children’s voices, the smell of barbeque grills and more vanished literally overnight. Knowing that my apartment of over 15 years may well have been the next complex to go led me to do this series of prints of the semi-demolished building. This was 3029 S.W. 27th Avenue, Coconut Grove, Florida. As I write this, it is a large condominium building with several vacant units.
Each of the prints in this series is 16 inches by 20 inches, in an edition of 20, black ink on Japanese paper.
These books are collaborations with Leila Leder Kremer, studying the dismantling of aging Downtown Miami’s down at the heels former icons: the Burdine Quartermine Building (the Pink Building), Dupont Plaza, and the Everglades Hotel. All were fashionable in their day, but as times changed and profit displaced value in the housing markets, the buildings were leveled and replaced. Mujo-Mujeni Phase I and Phase II have two parts each, one by Leder Kremer and one by Virgin, each taking a distinctive view of the process of destruction…and what remains.
Mujo-Mujeni, Phase I artist’s book 6” x 9” x 1” 2005
This is a two sided artist’s book (dos a dos) with photographs and haiku on one side by Virgin, and the same on the other side by Leder Kremer. Both sides depict a short period of time in Downtown Miami in which major physical changes occurred. The book is printed on a HP DesignJet500 using Rives BFK and Arches 88 in an edition of twenty.
Mujo-Mujeni, Phase II artist’s book 6” x 9” x 2” 2006.
Two separate books are bound together in interlocking covers in this volume, printed on a HP DesignJet500 using Rives BFK and Arches 88 in an edition of twenty. The books uses a serpentine structure to show digital imaging, collage, relief printing and haiku by Leder Kremer and Virgin.
Can’t See It From My House artist’s book/ title page 9” x 12” x .5” 2008
Can’t See It From My House was created from woodcut prints, photographs, and other ephemera gathered between 2005-2007 in Miami and Coconut Grove, Florida. It is a story of one neighborhood being replaced by another, although it is far from being a completed story. The story will continue to be told by the City of Miami for years to come.
The cover is blind embossed Murillo, with Foldovers and Tackets. Paste papers front and back are real estate listings, laminated in Mulberry paper, as are the end sheets. The book block consist of seven folded sheets, twelve by eighteen inches, of Hannemuhle German Etching paper. It is sewn together with a kettle stitch and bound to the cover with a Complex Multi Quire binding.
The images are inkjet photographs, mixed media drawing, and five woodcut prints (reduced and recreated with polymer plates as relief prints with the Vandercook 4 proof letterpress at the Jaffe Center for Book Arts at Florida Atlantic University, in Boca Raton, Florida). Can’t See It From My House is an edition of twenty with five artist’s proofs.