Miami New Times' Mastermind Awards honors the city's most inspiring creatives. This year, we received more than 100 submissions, which our staff narrowed to an elite group of 30. We'll be profiling those honorable mentions, and eventually the finalists, in the weeks to come. This year's three Mastermind Award winners will be announced February 28 at Artopia, our annual soiree celebrating Miami culture. For tickets and more information, visit the website.
"I take my everyday experiences and stop, look, and think, thus making the moment conceptual. This can happen in front of the TV late at night or with my son at the Seaquarium, in the supermarket, or through a conversation with a loved one or a stranger," explains artist Magnus Sigurdarson.
Born in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1966, Sigurdarson currently lives and works in Miami. He attended the Icelandic College of Arts and Crafts in Reykjavik and the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.
He is a Fulbright Scholarship Recipient and a multiple award- and grant-winning artist whose work is included in the collections of Collezione La Gaia in Busca, Italy, the Museum of Contemporary Art, The Icelandic National Gallery, and many private collections. Sigurdarson is represented by the Dorsch Gallery in Miami.
Says the artist, "In all my visual activity, I approach it as "diagnosis of the obvious". | use imagery and transcend the "pure" visual and into the emotional via the conceptual," says Sigurdarson. "With just the simple act of looking at a landscape upside down in a mirror we discover how much perception is involved in our everyday visual experience."
We at New Times obviously appreciate his work -- and we're happy to say that our amor is reciprocated. "I have used tons of the New Times in art works as I stacked papers for the first three years in Miami," gushes the artist.
Cultist: In first grade, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Magnus Sigurdarson: I wanted to become a scuba diver, astronaut, or veterinarian, so artist was definitely the logical conclusion of all of that!
Favorite thing about Miami's art scene?
My favorite thing about the local art scene is the closeness of it; everybody knows everybody and tend to work together on things.
Least favorite thing about Miami's art scene?
My least favorite thing about the local art scene is the closeness of it; everybody knows everybody.
Name your three favorite dead artists.
Pieter Bruegel -- as my favorite art work ever is a painting of his, Landscape with the Fall of Icarus. Bruegel walked across Europe to study the "old masters" and "classical themes" of Italy and came up with this...The port of Naples in the background with the farmer (his main theme) in the foreground of course! And, yes, the feet of Icarus sticking out of the water on the right.
De Chirico I love for his notion of "the screaming silence" in strange architectural settings. Sort of deconstruction of man in architecture. And Donald Judd to have somebody to fight with, as I find [his work] extremely disagreeable! But that's just me!
Favorite local artist?
Robert Chambers is my favorite local artist, as he has done more for artists and arts in Miami than anyone else. I have never met another artist as eager to share his contacts and knowledge of material solutions as well. Unique! This, and him being a fantastic artist himself. I have shown all over the world and everywhere, whereupon people get to know that I am living in Miami, they ask, "Oh, Miami, do you know Robert Chambers?" The best kept artistic secret of Miami!
2013 Mastermind Award Honorable Mentions:
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