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100 Creatives: Magnus Sodamin Paints Miami Nature Masterpieces

In honor of our "People" issue, which will hit newsstands November 17, New Times proudly presents "100 Creatives," where we feature Miami's cultural superheroes. Have suggestions for future profiles? Let us know in the comments.

#90: Magnus Sodamin

Though not native to Miami, 29-year-old Magnus Sodamin has taken to these southern swampy lands like a fish to water. And fishing is actually something that inspires him as an artist. From the time when his grandfather in Norway first brought him out on peaceful waters to the days he spends in nature today, he observes and processes the waking world around him. He's not making Guy Harvey paintings either. No, his work is wholly ethereal and captures those magical moments as the sun rises over the Everglades and the world is still full of mystery.

Sodamin, who earned a BFA from New World School of the Arts, carefully paints lifelike florals and then defaces and enhances their meaning with rivers of bright color, not forgetting to use the floor as his canvas. Changing lighting in his installation spaces often reminds one of the sun's movement over the course of a day. When he paints dancers to perform and interact with his work, the art takes on a new dimension, offering a full-body experience.

His work has been shown around the United States and in Norway and Vienna. Locally, it's been on display at the Cisneros-Fontanals Art Foundation, the Margulies Collection, and through a residency at the Deering Estate at Cutler. His main art pusher is the cool, locally based gallery Primary Projects. It has given him the platform and all the support he needs to continue to let his vision grow and to display it on a world stage like he did in a memorable installation at Wynwood Walls coinciding with Art Basel Miami Beach 2015. The prolific artist is poised and ready with new ideas and collaborations to brighten the face of his new hometown, Miami.

List five things that inspire you.
Traveling. Fishing. Plants. Music. Making.

What was your last big project?
Calm Before the Sun solo installation at Wynwood Walls for Miami Art Week 2015.

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What's your next big project?
A few projects, including two massive public art installations in the Biscayne corridor.

What do you want Miami to know about you?
Like many here, I was not born here, nor am I from here. I'm first generation. So it’s funny being in a place with no sense of cultural familiarity in terms of heritage. But that's what makes life funny... One does not need that. You could say I'm pretty “Miami” by now.

What don't you want Miami to know about you?
I spend way too much time collecting plants and succulents, and I basically live in a jungle. I can get obsessive with things, but it always seems to inform my work.

What's one thing you want people to know about Miami?
Don't let it bring you down. There’s always a new way to see a place. Miami can have such a conducive atmosphere for creativity. It’s never too late to start loving what you do here. Collaboration and communication are key to growing here. Here, I think friends are as important as family. Focus on the family around you, because together you will always be stronger.

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