100 Creatives: Solange Sarria Finds Art in the Beauty Industry

In honor of our annual MasterMind Awards, which reward Miami's creative talent with citywide recognition and sweet, sweet cash, New Times proudly presents "100 Creatives," where we feature the 305's cultural superheroes. Want to be a MasterMind? Learn how to enter here, and get your tickets to Artopia March 2, when we'll announce the winners.

75. Solange Sarria

In a city where artists struggle to find authenticity, Solange Sarria is a beacon of light. A singer, hairstylist, and visual artist who's as adept at sculpting an image as she is at solving your latest existential dilemma, Sarria uncovers the artificiality inherent in the modern beauty industry and turns it on its head.

She does so mainly in her practice as an artist, where Sarria crafts assemblage works using artificial hair and found metal objects that often hold a greater functionality. The idea that beauty should exist without function, she says, is absurd.

That notion has driven her work as a hairstylist, a vocation that began as a 14-year-old's hobby. Sarria would cut her friends' hair in exchange for cigarettes or beer. Her mom suggested she go to beauty school so she could put herself through art school by cutting hair in her spare time. After logging several years as a stylist at Miami Beach's Snip Salon, Sarria realized hair was a passion more than a job. In 2013, she cofounded Concept 5 Studio, a bayfront salon known for innovating hairstyling as a more approachable, effortless exercise.

As she continues to grow into her artistic practice, Sarria aims to explore the legitimacy of our own constrained standards of beauty. Luckily for Miami, she'll still be around to break down those walls and uncover the most genuine version of you.

List five things that inspire you.
I'm inspired by shows and concerts, learning, yoga, the outdoors, and my clients.

What was your last big project?
I participated in a show as part of the studio art program at Florida International University. The incentive was to create a designed object that was site-specific to the Village of Vizcaya. I thought about its relevance. It was the secret place where the people who worked at Vizcaya would live. I thought about the parties and people who would stay there and the invisible people who made it all happen. It made sense to consider Vizcaya as a production. From there, I wanted to bring something unique or interactive into the space and incorporate hair, and I decided to make a backstage set where I would perform 1920s hairstyles and makeup, interacting with the guests and also demonstrating the full process of this antiquated style on a model. To facilitate the object design, I created a mirror so I would have this polywood mirror with lights and create a frame around the mirror that would resemble the 1920s hair of the time.

What's your next big project?
My BFA show. That's going to be in May at Miami Beach Urban Studios. I'm planning to do an installation of sculptures, assemblage sculptures, some I've been working on for a while. Right now I'm working on the display.

What do you want Miami to know about you? What don't you want Miami to know about you?
I'm striving to inspire Miamians to be more informed and less ignorant and more self-aware. I want to bring out the intellect or gain strength in the number of intellects in Miami. They can know everything about me — I have nothing to hide — because that's part of what I really aim to do in my art practice and in my hair studio: bring out the realness.

What's one thing you want people to know about Miami?
It's possible to live an honest, authentic, healthy lifestyle in Miami. You don't have to be a victim of the toxicity and dishonesty and flakiness that exist here. You just have to pick and choose and be honest.