65. Serge Toussaint

In honor of our MasterMind

genius awards, Cultist proudly presents "100 Creatives," where we

feature Miami's cultural superheroes in random order. Have suggestions for

future profiles? Email cultist@miaminewtimes.com with the

whos and whys.

Serge Toussaint, Little Haiti's artist in residence.
Serge Toussaint, Little Haiti's artist in residence.
Courtesy of Serge Toussaint

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65. Serge Toussaint

If you've spent any time in Little Haiti you know Serge Toussaint. You might not know him personally, but you've seen his work--his colorful murals adorn storefronts, dilapidated walls, the underbellies of bridges, and just about any open spot of plaster or cement he can find.

After 16 years of climbing his trusty ladder to paint in the Miami heat, Serge is an institution in Little Haiti. He's had a book on his work published, been the center of a national controversy over an Obama mural, and continues to paint at a prolific rate.

65. Serge Toussaint
Courtesy of Serge Toussaint

The Haitian born muralist overcame a troubled childhood in his homeland

to settle in Miami in 1994. Soon afterward he started painting. He got

his first real taste of notoriety in 2008 when he was forced to erase

part of a mural depicting Martin Luther King, Jr. and then Senator

Barack Obama which he painted on an I-95 underpass. The mural was paid

for by state funds but was taken to be an endorsement of the soon-to-be

President Obama. Even though he had to erase the likeness, Serge says

the message of hope the president brought with him still shines through

the mural. "You can still see the picture of Obama. Even after I painted

it off you can still see his resemblance," he says.

Part of what has made Serge so successful is a sensitivity to the

communities where he works. "I try to feel the vibe of a neighborhood

first. That's how I know what type of work I should paint." Serge

painted murals for events connected to this year's Art Basel

and hopes to one day open a school of art to help children develop

their talents and steer clear of trouble. "It wouldn't be for the money.

It would be to teach kids to paint and draw to keep them away from

violence and gangbanging like it did for me."

1. List five things that inspire you.

-Music

-My family

-Nature

-My past

-Controversial issues

 

2. What was your last big project?

2011 Art Basel display at an art gallery at 150 NW 25th St.

 

3. What's your next big project?

Miami Heat team off 29th street and NW 3rd Ave.

 

4. Why do you do what you do?

Because it's my passion and I'm good at it.  It's the first thing I think about when I wake up.

 

65. Serge Toussaint
Courtesy of Serge Toussaint

5. What's something you want Miami to know about you?

I love making Miami beautiful and hope to leave a legacy by opening an art school where I could train children to paint.

 

6. What's something you don't want Miami to know about you?

I tend to get timid in front of crowds at times.

The Creatives so far:

66. David Rohn
67. Diane

Brache
68.

Spencer Morin
69.

James Anthony
70.

Jim Drain
71.

Claudia Calle
72.

Kevin Arrow
73.

Andrew Hevia
74.

Ana Mendez
75.

Michael McKeever
76.

Diana Lozano
77.

Ricardo Pau-Llosa
78.

Agustina Woodgate
79.

Tarell Alvin McCraney
80.

Jennifer Kronenberg
81.

Farley Aguilar
82.

Colin Foord
83.

Karelle Levy
84.

Matt Gajewski
85.

Antonia Wright
86.

Allen Charles Klein
87.

Christy Gast
88.

Gustavo Matamoros
89.

Shareen Rubiera-Sarwar
90.

Kyle Trowbridge
91.

Clifton Childree
92.

Jessica Gross
93. Danny

Brito
94.

Nektar de Stagni
95.

Anthony Spinello
96.

Vanessa Garcia
97.

Justin Long
98.

Rosie Herrera
99.

Rick Falcon
100.

Ingrid B
 


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