By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Daniel Reskin
I Want Typoe So Effin Bad
Through March 31. Spinello Gallery, 531 NE 82nd Terr., #3, Miami; 786-271-4223, spinellogallery.com. Wednesday through Saturday noon to 5 p.m.
Miami artist and infamous graffiti rat Typoe has refused to sacrifice his street cred for his first solo show, "I Want Typoe So Effin Bad." Instead, the 20-something artist, who declines to give his name, has created an exhibit celebrating his urban lifestyle that brings the raw energy of the mean streets into the Spinello Gallery's fresh digs on the Upper Eastside.
"I worked my ass off," the ever-defiant Typoe crows. "I approached the gallery space as a classroom to teach people about my experiences, about who I am."
Inside the gallery, located in a '50s-era apartment block on 82nd Terrace, a few buildings off Biscayne Boulevard, Typoe's unusual self-portrait greets visitors with evidence that the aerosol bomber plans to sling spray paint to the grave.
Til the Day I Die is a life-size plastic skeleton with its arms crossed over its ribcage. The bottom half of its skull is hidden by a black bandanna covered with the initials TCP, which stand for "The Cat's Pajamas," Typoe's graffiti crew. The urban outlaw's bony doppelganger sports a Harlem-purchased heart-shaped medallion with Typoe's moniker set in red stones. It also wears a pair of size 8 ½ Supra kicks — the "same style I rock," the artist adds. "The bandanna is to hide its identity. I think it's important when people don't know too much information. Everybody loves a little chase. He's standing tall, letting you know I'll be doing this until I croak."
Through March 10. Carol Jazzar Gallery, 158 NW 91st St., El Portal; 305-490-6906, cjazzart.com. Saturday and Sunday 1 to 6 p.m. and by appointment.
Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz are not the type to gingerly test the depths of mythology. Instead the Miami-based pair has plunged headfirst into the unknown, seeking to fathom the common lore that binds humanity in an Ariadne's thread across the globe. At the Carol Jazzar Gallery in El Portal, the conceptual duo has conjured a realm of enchantment by creating iconic imagery of fantastic creatures lost to time, yet which appeared very much alive to the bygone civilizations that venerated them.
Their richly symbolic exhibit, "Otherworld," offers an imaginative portal through the ages. It deploys found objects and garments to evoke mystical beings that have transcended space and time. The Cuban artists, who have collaborated under the name Guerra de la Paz since 1996, share a studio in Little Haiti, where they have plumbed the neighborhood's streets and shops for the discarded materials that make up their art. To create the eye-popping mermaids, unicorns, witches, warlocks, and angels in their show, they play the role of back-yard archaeologists, dumpster-diving and rifling through piles of clothing at local shops that work in the rag trade shipping used garments in bulk to Haiti. "We are interested in a new mythology combining the old and new," de la Paz says. "Everything recorded in the past continues to reach into the present."