by Ana M.
There’s a fresh breeze blowing on Miami’s art scene, and graffiti and visual artist Typoe is one of its pioneering figures. In essence, his style is a candid, humorous one that is often punctuated by darker themes. He is a member of the collective Spinello Projects, and also the co-founder of Primary Flight, an atypical art fair dedicated to promoting graffiti talents from around the world. He shared his views on art, life and Miami with MadlyJuicy.
MadlyJuicy: You started out as a graffiti artist. Were you always confident you could make a living of your art?
Typoe: Since I was a little kid, I was always doing art and writing on things. My mom is an artist and she would have me sit in a room and draw everything in perspective over and over until I got it right. I was lucky to have that influence so early on. I always felt like I was made just to create things. I knew that was my purpose for being alive. I don’t have regular interests in sports, school or normal things. All I care about is what I need to make next.
T.: Art is a really interesting game. I enjoy it a lot. The more I get into it the more curious I get. I love the conversation of power and importance; who says something is an important piece of work and why. The learning process in this game is never ending, and I am still very young.
MJ: Though there’s a pretty consistent sense of humour throughout your work, it includes very different, almost opposing material. There are straight-up comical pieces and things that can be a lot rawer. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
T.: I use [art] as a way to talk about myself and how I choose to live my life. I pull inspirations from all the things I have been through personally: money, girls, graffiti, death, drugs, violence, Miami… I love having a sense of humour about life and I think that is a partial key to being happy, but I also have a very dark side to myself and I want to share all of that. It is important to me to be extremely honest in my work so that it carries a certain emotion that in one way or another will hopefully strike something in everyone.
T.: I try to stay out of politics and all that with my art usually. I rather talk about everyday life. I feel like it’s better to work on myself and try to understand who I am through my work.
MJ: What do you enjoy the most about what you do?
T.: I enjoy everything about [it]. It makes me so happy to be able to create every day. It has been my dream since I was crazy young and I am really lucky to do what I do. A lot of my hommies have died and I choose to live my life in honour of them. I love where my art has taken me so far. I think what I love most is seeing people interact with my work. I enjoy seeing people relate with a piece through their own experiences.
T.: I love Miami. My work is the way it is because of my surroundings here. Everything is so fake and shiny and fun and interesting. It is like another planet compared to the rest of the states. It keeps me mentally and visually stimulated. Besides just loving it here I do feel an obligation to stay and do whatever I can to make the scene thrive more creatively. I am Miami ride or die. I just try and travel out of the city every month so I can have a handle on what is going everywhere else and stay connected.
Mj: Is there anything in particular you’d like to achieve as an artist?
T.: There are soooo many goals that I want to accomplish. The list is never ending and I don’t think I will ever be fully satisfied until I fall over and can’t work anymore. I just want to interact with the world and have fun while doing it. Surround myself with the people I care about and keep it moving.