When Monica and Natasha Lopez De Victoria were growing up in Miami, did they ever imagine they'd work so closely together as adults? The pair laughs at the question. Their decadelong collaboration as one of Miami's most mind-bendingly creative duos came together by happenstance, not planning.
"No, not at all," says 34-year-old Monica.
"We both pursued different lifestyles," adds 31-year-old Natasha.
Monica chimes in, "It just kind of naturally happened."
Random chance or not, the result was the TM Sisters, a multidisciplinary collective between the siblings that has allowed them to explore their own artistic voices through live performances, video, sculpture, animation, dance, and anything else they can get their hands on.
Their refusal to land on a single medium has set the sisters apart. "We usually think, That's so easy; I wish I could do that. I'm only going to be a painter now," Natasha explains. "But we usually get bored if we're not changing it up."
"I think that's kind of a new challenge for us," Monica says. "We've always been pushing things in new ways that, I think, as we're getting a little older, we're learning to focus a bit more."
Last year, that focus took the sisters to Site:Lab in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to do a site-specific installation dubbed Join Me in a Land That Knows No End, which incorporated a local roller derby team, Grand Raggidy, and New York's the Unstoppable Death Machines, another sibling duo. The result was a "site-specific vortex" featuring an upside-down palm tree, projected colors, and roller-skating performers.
Locally, the sisters' most recent comprehensive show was "Prismavolt" at David Castillo Gallery in 2013, described by a New Times critic as "bending light and sound waves through different structures, all while integrating psychological metaphors and physical mediums."
As the sisters keep reaching for new media and collaborations, their tough-to-categorize genius will only continue to change. They wouldn't have it any other way.
"The challenging and exciting thing for us is that there are two people with two different lives in this collaboration, and there are always phases of new changes," Monica explains. "Because of that, it's always growing and it has to shift... It's scary, but it's exciting as well."
Natasha adds, "We're working on finding our individual voices and seeing how that works together as a team.
This year's three MasterMind Award winners will be announced February 26 at Artopia, our annual soirée celebrating Miami culture. For tickets and more information, visit newtimesartopia.com.
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