Razor Candy Promotes Student Artists In Kendall

The night opened up with one-man show James Del Regado, otherwise known as Creepy Calvin, screaming, “I walked into Taco Bell with a shotgun,” into the microphone, his deep and hoarse voice getting louder with the repetition of each line.

Projected onto the cement wall behind him was a short horror film called Asphyxiate directed by Ariana Fagan.

Regado and Fagan were only two of the students who  played a part in making Razor Candy happen.

A 100 percent student produced art show, the idea for Razor Candy was ignited in late September by Anthony Diaz and friends Simon Raftet and Theo Rodino. The trio sought to incorporate a blend of music, photography, sculpture, film and more to showcase some of the local hidden talent at Miami Dade College.

“I wanted to get myself and others work out there,” Diaz said. “Not everyone can afford to put their stuff up in Wynwood or another gallery of higher class or standard.”

Rafet, Rodino and Diaz took over Diaz’s dad plumbing warehouse in Kendall, turning it into a multidimensional art gallery and performance space. Within a week, the backroom office was converted into a gallery style setup, and the main room housed a small projector and speaker system.

MDC alumna Holli Salazar, sold ceramic mugs, vases and had her sculptures on display. All of her work was made in the Razor Candy ceramic studio.

“My art [is] actually about women. One of the pieces on display had to do with women’s sexuality, how we’re more than just a vessel for life,” Salazar said. “The more morphed looking vases that I made are based on form and I think that women are more beautiful when they have more form to them.”  

Many of the students at Razor Candy agreed that it’s difficult to get their work out there, because Kendall lacks the cultural and artistic venues usually found in Wynwood or downtown.

However, that doesn’t mean the art isn’t there.  

“I love coming to Kendall because I live in Cutler Bay. So for me as an artist to have to go to Wynwood arts scene is such a mission to get out there,” Salazar said.

Rayven Nieto and Vinny Nastassi, the duo behind Pesh Kab, echo that sentiment.

“Everyone wants to move out of here because they don’t think there’s creative stuff happening here,” Nieto said. “But in reality, all the people that are in Wynwood are from Kendall. A lot of the things that moved up there were originally in a warehouse just like this one.”

The duo describe their music as “art-rock,” taking influences from electronic and post-hardcore genres as well as performance art. They were the fourth band of the night, following familiar acts like Beach Dogs and Salas.  

“For us, an opportunity like this is awesome,” Nastassi said. “When we can and are able to put shows like this together it’s great. Most of the music that is playing here tonight; they don’t get to play often.”

Although no solid plans have been made, Diaz and his friends plan to host another event like Razor Candy soon.

“I’m just trying to push out underground music and trying to encourage people to enjoy local art and create some sort of community in this area,” Diaz said.

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