Nightlife

Sean Wildchild: Costumed Crusader

In this week's Miami New Times, we profile 30 of the most interesting characters in town, with portraits of each from photographer Stian Roenning. See the entire Miami New Times People Issue here.

Clubland might not seem like the best place for an art project. But Sean Wildchild crash-lands his high-concept pieces right in the middle of the bump-and-grind of the EDM scene. He's able to pull it off by taking the color and shape of costumes to a whole new, brain-blowing level.

Actually, calling his creations "costumes" is an understatement. Anyone who's grazed an eyeball over a Wildchild production will likely not forget it -- it'll probably creep into their dreams, good or bad.

Pulling from everything from B-movie horror to gay-culture camp to big-budget Broadway, Wildchild's signature brand of wearables looks like sexed-up drag-queen space aliens who've come to conquer Earth through dance. It's no wonder the artist's designs have become fixtures for the molly set.

Wildchild -- who was born Sean Foutain -- had an early fascination with Mardi Gras, which would later fuel his creative furnace. In 2008, he washed up on Miami Beach from his Panhandle hometown with a car full of fetish decorations for a Halloween party.

Since then, he's been designing costumes and performances for local clubs like Mansion and Space, as well as branching out to music festivals around the world, including Ultra and Electric Daisy. Wildchild works with more than 300 performers. And his art doesn't stop at eye-catching getups. He organizes everything into a logistically impressive whole, with aerial acrobats, inflatable bubbles, and stage shows.

Imagine musical theater trippin' balls and you'll come close to a Wildchild production. But what looks like helter-skelter chaos is really a highly planned process, all cooked up in Wildchild's Design District studio.

"We tend to impact the audience in such a way that it drives them to a point of love and hate and awe," Wildchild told the Huffington Post in 2013. "They aren't

always the most vocal reactions, but their facial expressions are very clear to me."

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Kyle Swenson