DePaul Vera is an artist who is new to the Miami scene, and while he works at the popular Hotel Gaythering in South Beach, he has also received praise for his art at Art Gaysel at the hotel, which runs during the massive Art Basel art fair each year.
Vera shared some of his images with GayCities (including his self-portrait above), and chatted about what makes Miami Beach Pride so much fun, and why he loves about his new home in South Beach.
What do you like about living in South Beach?
For sure, my South Beach apartment is a space that rejuvenates me every time I open its doors. I’ve never felt more belonged, and this correlates profoundly with my process of making art. Being in an environment to freely create is vital, especially coming from a strict, conservative upbringing. I feel at ease expressing myself here more than I ever have, artistically, sexually, and professionally.
The view from Vera’s apartment in South Beach
Miami Beach Pride is coming up, with the parade on April 5. Do you enjoy Miami Beach’s pride festival?
Last year was my first Miami Beach Pride, and I had only lived here a few months, so I went alone to watch the parade on Ocean Drive. I loved the energy from the crowd. People were there to have a good time and to genuinely support one another, which was really important to me. Now that I’ve lived here for over a year, I’m excited to experience the pride festival with friends, and be as proud as ever.
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I read a quote the other day about noticing good vibes in the workplace, and laughter being the number one identifier. I’m never shy to put myself out there for a laugh. Even with all the people from around the world walking through our doors every day, laughter never fails when language barriers do. And the management takes care of their patrons and are always thinking of ways to make sure community requests are met.
Hotel Gaythering also has a great bar, and I heard that you like to hang out there even when you’re not working.
I prefer “keeping money in the family.” And I really admire the bartenders, and their love for always trying to make everyone feel welcomed.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the Miami area?
Definitely Yard House. The classic sliders with sweet potato fries never lets me down. Having it a block away from my place doesn’t hurt either.
Living in South Beach means you are close to the beach. Where is your favorite spot?
I really should take more advantage of living on the beach and visit more often. South Pointe Park is stunningly, especially at dawn. I love it when the watercolor artists come and paint the seascape with the gleaming light trails.