NiteTalk: Paco De La Torre Is Butter Gallery's Main Man

Anyone swinging through Wynwood last weekend might have thought that Second Saturday had come early. But that night another space was attracting the hipster horde, as well as those folks who dig mingling with them. It was a relatively new face -- for Wynwood anyway. Yet it drew the crowds like a veteran. Butter Gallery is now on its third neighborhood blockbuster show, and we caught up with it's main man Paco De La Torre to see what all the hot fuss was about.

I've got my suspicions, and I imagine others do too, but let's hear it from the source: Why the name Butter? The name Butter dates back to the beginning of the decade when I was publishing a wakeboarding magazine under that name, and it implies good water conditions. When it comes to branding, I always avoid the obvious. Besides, it tastes a lot better than margarine.

You recently set up shop on one of the most visible corners in Wynwood. How has the reception been? It has exceeded all my expectations. The area's energy is almost magical. It really is the place to be in this city.

The delightfully named AHOL Sniffs Glue is among your artists, and I know he's also one of the cats behind (((Shake))) @ Vagabond. Did you guys first connect by night? Met him when Butter Gallery was in Coconut Grove. A couple of years later we ran into each other again and ended up talking for hours. We both realized then that it was time to start working together.

Butter opened its new space with a hit show from Rick Falcon. Whose work is up and running now and what's it all about? Currently showing a solo exhibit titled Roof Less by a young photographer named Yuri Tuma. His compositions of mirrored images are highly aesthetic and examine many aspects of contemporary urbanism. The work is amazing and will be on display at the gallery through the month of February.

Butter Gallery openings are notoriously lively and they never take place on the usual second Saturday. What's the deal? The second Saturday has become so popular that it is hard to have an intimate opening those nights. Our opening receptions might be fun and attract a hip crowd, but ultimately they are about the art. And the big crowds of the gallery walks can be distracting.

Why do you think Miami has such a happening scene? An old Miami mayor named Maurice Ferre created the conditions necessary for Miami to become the international business hub it is today. Those changes created the growth that we are experiencing today and attracted developers such as the Goldmans to come play in our backyard.

What should folks look for from Butter Gallery in the coming months? Besides exhibiting the emerging artists that I represent, expect some nationally known exhibits at the gallery this year.

Rumor has it that you also used to publish an art magazine back in your native Puerto Rico. What's the story behind that and is there a chance you might get back in that game? The publication was called Tiempos. Back then the term was "alternative," and it meant covering the niches that were neglected by the mainstream media. We featured artists, surfers and fashionistas.

What are your favorite nightspots (for wining and for dining)? If I'm not at Joey's Restaurant in Wynwood look for me at Segafredo on Lincoln Road. The originale!

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