For developers, Miami's untapped potential is like a delicious morsel waiting to be devoured. The Magic City is a pit stop for the rich and famous, a playground for the world. Not many people consider what it's like to live in a playground.
That is, they don't consider it unless they choose to stay in a playground. Michael Gran, better known as Typoe, doesn't have to live in Miami; he garnered enough success early in his artistic career to merit a cozy residence in New York City or Los Angeles. But that was never his intention.
"I'd travel a lot no matter where I'd be living," he explains. "I have to be everywhere because art is so international." But the worldly influence won't change him. "I'm fully invested in Miami and doing everything I can to help this renaissance that's been going on for the last decade."
Typoe was covering walls in Wynwood before artists from around the world were invited to paint them. He was part of a fledgling community of street artists and gallerists. After getting into the good graces of gallery owner Anthony Spinello, Typoe cofounded Primary Projects. Wherever Typoe goes, success follows.
"I'm friends with a lot of developers, and I know what's coming with buildings and restaurants and hotels. Miami is just starting," he says and then pauses to reconsider. "It hasn't even started yet. There's a lot more to come in the next decade."
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After living in Little Haiti for almost ten years, Typoe plans to build a gallery from the ground up in the neighborhood. He's ready to plant roots with the intention of enriching not only the art scene but also the community as a whole.
"In any way I can, I try to help it grow," he says. "I own a gallery and show the art I like. We run an artist residency bringing artists from other cities so people can be inspired. Any way, shape, or form that I can work with other people creatively and move the neighborhoods, I am moved to do so."
And if history is any indicator, whatever Typoe thinks will inspire the neighborhood will be what inspires it. Just don't compare the Magic City to L.A. or NYC.
"We're Miami. We're gonna be more Miami."