Controlling Chaos One Piece of Art at a Time
“I have always been very curious,” says the artist TYPOE. “Even as a young child I would find any object and explore its capabilities. I have a natural tendency to take in the world around me and then respond to it.”
We are certainly glad the Miami native never stopped absorbing, and reflecting on, the world around him. TYPOE’s work pays homage to the gritty urban underground while conversing with (and subtly poking fun of) celebrity culture, all while nodding to the academic foundations of art history and the vibrant energy of street art. Here he shares the story behind his acclaimed gunpowder floral series, why there’s no place like Miami, and more.
What’s the driving impulse behind your work?
I get inspired by everything from interactions with the people around me to then the atmosphere of shapes and color and things that I take in on a daily basis.
How does Miami influence your creativity?
Miami is huge in my artistic influence. If I was born in another part of the world, my work would look nothing like how it does‑especially because Miami is such a specific place. I mean, it’s like we are our own little planet. It’s kind of amazing. Growing up here seeing the colors, drugs, neon lights, violence, lavish living, low living… It completely affected the way I see everything.
How and why is the rose so significant in your work?
I started doing my floral series about 3 or 4 years ago. I paint the florals with gunpowder using a technique that took me about 8 years to come up with by using a series of different adhesives and burning methods. Originally I was really drawn to gunpowder as a medium because of how difficult it was to control, because when you ignite it on paper, it literally goes everywhere. So in one respect, I was trying to master controlling chaos. Now I was using the flowers as symbol for loss. They were sort of these beautiful funeral arrangements in the beginning that were commemorating the loss of dear friends of mine. The gunpowder was a sort of symbol of the out of control life style we all had growing up that some never got out of to experience anything else. As the series expanded, it started to take on many meanings, not just loss. It was a symbol for life, love, control, inner peace. It was something I grew with that took many awesome unexpected turns. That’s the beautiful thing about art, sometimes it has to be alive for a little while to realize itself.
Where do you live in Miami? Can you share three of your favorite places in your neighborhood?
I live in the midtown area, but I am happy to announce that I just recently bought a home in Little River and am currently in the middle of renovations and building my new permanent studio there. But my three places in my current neighborhood are as follows:
1) Gigi – just for the simple fact that you can get a different type of bread pudding every day. I have a huge sweet tooth and this is a pretty epic situation.
2) Lemoni Café – because they have all amazing food and they are the sweetest people ever. Also, the chicken parm there is seriously a revelation.
3) Pace Park – I would say this is my happy spot. I workout in this park every single day and it is probably one of my favorite places to get away. It’s on the water, everyone is outside being active and going after goals, and there are cute dogs everywhere to look at. Nothing better than that!
Do you have any exciting art projects coming up that you can share with us?
I do have some major collaborations, projects and series of work coming out that I am SO excited about. But all too soon to share any details. Stayed tuned, many amazing things on the horizons that I can’t wait to share with everyone