Typoe’s “Tired of Eating Pigeons” is So Miami
“I can't edit the materials I work with. My remit is to work with nature as a whole" – Andy Goldsworthy (b. 1956)
Multidisciplinary artist Typoe will present his first solo show in Miami, “Tired of Eating Pigeons,” in five years and it is wholly and completely of this place he calls home. Large tableaus exhibit grids of color, mismatched textiles, secret messages and found objects, stitched together with the detailed handiwork expected of a quilter. And like a quilt-maker, Typoe is also a storyteller.
This body of work, which in many ways is reminiscent of modern day tapestry, tells us who we are by looking at what we leave behind in the streets of Little River and Little Haiti. "The objects I find when walking out of my house and that I use in my work are in direct response to my immediate landscape," explains Typoe. "I'm especially attracted to colorful things and to the brightness of disregarded kids toys. But I have to wonder, after seeing kids' stuff in the streets, 'where are the kids?' Everything has a story to tell."
The namesake of the exhibition, “Tired of Eating Pigeons”, comes from an unknown collaborator who threw away a germanely etched piece of cardboard. Described by the artist as a way of taking the temperature of the times, he uses his work to bridge gaps of understanding between people, explore humanity, and inspire connection.
In addition to his solo show, Typoe was recently featured in the Miami Design District's new ad campaign featuring local influencers throughout the city and is Commissioner’s inaugural artist. Commissioner is a new subscription program that brings together emerging collectors and local artists around the stories unique to Miami and connects to the community with lower barriers of entry.
On the heels of his many projects that also include Brightline and SoHo Beach House, we asked Typoe a handful of questions about his upcoming show and how the MDD uniquely informs his work.
Dejha: “Tired of Eating Pigeons” is your first solo show in Miami in five years. Why have you waited so long?
Typoe: The last five years I have been focusing a lot on public art and collaborations—projects that are larger than just my studio practice alone. It’s been really great because I love working with people and putting our minds together to make something unique. My work in the studio has been mostly private commissions for clients so I haven’t really been able to take the proper time to build a full body of work. The last year and a half I’ve been slowly putting this show together and I am really excited to finally put it out.
D: The collage in this exhibition reminds me of how the quilts of the Deep South had encoded messages. Artist Sanford Biggers speaks a lot about this in his works. What are you trying to tell your audience with these works?
T: To me these works are both a portrait of myself and of Miami in the times we are currently living in. I am creating these paintings with everything from fabrics, cardboard, yoga mats, umbrellas, towels, plastics and other found things. I like my work to pose more questions than give answers. Everyone brings their own experiences when looking at works. Some might see the beauty in these forgotten objects, where as another person may see sadness in the landscape we are living in.
D: The opening of your solo show “Tired of Eating Pigeons” coincides with the launch of Commissioner. Why is participating in this social impact program important to you?
T: Commissioner is important because it’s not only championing new collectors: it’s bridging the gap between the artist and everyone else. Sometimes the art world can be a really cold and exclusive place. That way of being can turn a lot of people off from trying to ask questions and learn more about the work. I love that Commissioner is making it more of an inclusive space. Art is for everyone.
D: Commissioner wants to bring artists and collectors together around stories unique to Miami, and your work is very connected to and in response of your immediate surroundings. Can you tell us more about how this city - and this feeling of connection to it - is important to you?
T: Miami has had a huge influence on my work. I think in a way all of our surroundings influence who we are and how we look at things. Growing up near the water with bright neon lights and a fast paced city life has partly framed out who I am as a person and a creative.
D: Your exhibition is opening in the Miami Design District, and your partners at Primary are based in this neighborhood, too. What inspires you about the District?
T: The Miami Design District focuses on different aspects of creativity including fashion and architecture. I am heavily influenced by everything around me so I enjoy walking the neighborhood and seeing the materiality of the different buildings. It’s almost like walking through Brancusi’s studio and drooling over the wood, stone and metal sculptures. I don’t think people realize how unique and special it is that we have this here as a part of our landscape.
“Tired of Eating Pigeons” opens on September 21 at 7 pm, and Commissioner’s kick off party and artist tour takes place on October 2 from 6 to 9 pm. Both events are free and open to the public, RSVP to Commissioner at commissionerparty.eventbrite.com. The address is 49 NE 39th Street in the Miami Design District, and the exhibit will be on view through October 2018.
Check out these folks on IG at @typoe, @primaryprojects and @miamidesigndistrict. For more information about Commissioner, visit the website at commissioner.us.
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