Typoe is a street artist and a gallerist all rolled into one, with his punchy and conceptual artworks causing a stir on the Miami scene. Wonderland talks to the man himself.
Who is Typoe?
TYPOE is a name that was given to me from a friend when I was about 15. It has pretty much stuck with me ever since and has been like my first name. Most people don’t even know my real name. It’s kind of funny.
You mix street art and fine art influences to create your pieces. What aspects do you incorporate and what specifically do you appreciate in street art and gallery art?
I look at the gallery as a classroom. A way where I can teach people about myself. Most of my work is about my journey through life and all the things I have been through: Money, sex, drugs, violence, fucking shit up, love, loss… All the good stuff. As far as graffiti goes, I look at it more like something fun I like to do. To me, graffiti belongs outside and it is about fucking shit up, plain and simple. I don’t believe that graffiti is meant to be inside. It is a full contact sport that is handled in the streets and should stay there.
Where do you draw your inspirations from?
I’m like a sponge. Some of my work is inspired by friends who have passed away, other work is inspired by things I see on a daily basis like fashion, partying, shiny things. Some of my favorite artists are: Andy Goldsworthy, Alexander McQueen, Robert Rauschenberg, Michelangelo.
You are an artist as well as a gallery owner. How do you manage to juggle both and be successful in both arenas?
I have to work very hard at managing my time well. Because of doing both of these activities I don’t have time for anything else really, which is fine. I love what I do and it makes me so happy to just do what I love.
You’re participating in various upcoming international art fairs. How relevant are art fairs to an artist’s career?
They’re effective because it is a really great way to get a lot of views in a short amount of time. Also, it’s great to meet people from other places who have seen and/or bought my work and I would have never known. I think it is a needed step to be involved in the fair circuits just to be relevant. If I’m not working and putting my work into the world then what am I doing?
Which direction do you see your art taking?
Every year my art grows exponentially, as do I. We mature together at a nice rate.
Do you have any other news you would like to share?
I am doing my first collaboration with a brand this year and it is something that normally I wouldn’t jump into because it usually doesn’t make sense. I try to keep my work very limited and I want to share it with people who truly appreciate and love it, so be on the look out for an interesting and exciting collaboration between myself and Deltoro shoes.
Words: Heike Dempster