A report by Charles Rabin for the Miami Herald.
What’s purplish-blue, and has an orange ball, funky rims and little paramecium-like looking cells all over it?
In Miami, at least this week, maybe for longer, it’s a cop car in the heart of Wynwood, the popular street-artist colony north of downtown.
For the past several weeks, Miami police Cmdr. Dan Kerr has been hiding the dolled-up and previously out-of-commission patrol car that’s been customized by famed local street artist Abstrk at his home. The plan is to break it out Tuesday night at Roberto Clemente Park during National Night Out, a yearly event that tries to bridge the gap between police and the community.
At Clemente Park, 101 NW 34th St., kids and families can eat, drink and listen to live music next to Miami’s coolest cop car.
“I wanted to do something unique to the district where we work,” said the city’s central commander. “Wynwood is about street art.”
Kerr said the entire community pitched in to make the vehicle viable.
Wynwood’s Business Improvement District put in some money. As did the Police Athletic League. A store called Creative Customs donated the sound system. Even a nearby Marathon gas station paid for the rims. In total, it cost about $8,000 to juice up the car.
On Monday morning, after a test run, Kerr parked the car next to Wynwood Walls, the clash between its colors and the colorful wall behind it, striking. Even before 9 a.m., tourists walking the neighborhood’s streets stopped to take a peek.
Abstrk is a 41-year-old local Cuban-American artist whose work is becoming more popular worldwide. His pieces are full of movement and color. He began his career as a graffiti artist and now does walls and canvases around the U.S. and the Caribbean.