Art Basel
11:45 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Miami Photographer Captures Changing Canvas Of Iconic Marine Stadium

Anyone visiting the National Hotel on South Beach during Art Basel this week will get a rare peek inside the Miami Marine Stadium.

The Marine Stadium was built off the Miami mainland on Virginia Key in the 1960s. It was originally used for boat racing and then later for concerts and even religious services.

But the stadium has been closed to the public  since it was damaged by Hurricane Andrew 20 years ago.

Since then, the mammoth, concrete structure has become fertile ground for graffiti and a source of inspiration for local photographer Jay Koenigsberg.

Koenigsberg has spent the past two years capturing the ever-changing canvas inside the Marine Stadium as people paint over each another’s graffiti.

“If you’re out there one week, it will be completely different than it is a month later or a year later,”  Koenigsberg said. And the art,  if it’s not captured by photography, he said, disappears or "becomes part of the archaeology of the stadium because you have to take off levels of paint to see the art that was there before.”

For that reason, most of the graffiti in Koenigsberg’s photographs no longer exist on the stadium walls.

The constantly evolving graffiti has been pulling Koenigsberg back to the stadium during the past two years.

“I’m constantly challenged to come back and look at it in different ways,” Koenigsberg said. “Just as the artists who are painting it are challenging me.”

Koenigsberg’s photographs are on exhibit in the National Hotel lobby through Dec. 8.