Kabinett: 31 curated exhibitions at Art Basel in Miami Beach
November 28, 2017
Urayoán “YOA” Ruiz Paneque
November 1, 2018

Miguel Paredes

Miguel Paredes was born in New York in 1966. He is an artist and urban realist who combines the exhilarating sense of New York graffiti art with the skill and perceptiveness of a truly exceptional artist.
Growing up on 72nd Street in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Paredes exuded early signs of artistic ability and accepted an invitation to New York City's prestigious Fiorello La Guardia High School of Music and Art – immortalized in the musical and movie Fame – in the early 1980s. His studies at Fiorello coincided with the explosion of street culture in the city. Paredes drew inspiration from notorious pop artists like Andy Warhol and Keith Haring and plunged headlong into the world of graffiti and pop art taking the name "Mist" as his moniker.
Paredes left New York to come to bourgeoning Miami Beach and took a studio at the Art Center of South Florida, where he became one of their most prosperous artists, focusing on mixed media and conceptual art. At one of his first showings he sold every piece in the exhibit and broke solidly into the Miami Beach art scene. His artistic success caught the attention of several local venues and they often offered their space to showcase Paredes' work. He ultimately opened his own gallery, Miguel Paredes Fine Art Gallery, in the Wynwood Arts District in August 2010. That same year, Paredes created an 18x26 foot mural titled "Pulgha World" in the heart of the Wynwood Arts District as a donation to the neighborhood.

Miami Art Guide Interview – Miguel Paredes

Did you have any formal art training?

As a young artist I received formal training from Fiorello LaGuardia High School of Music and Art.

What inspires you?

My art imitates my life. My children are a big source of inspiration, as well as my urban roots and childhood in New York. Los Niños is a great example of this. At first I was painting my children because they’re my kids and just putting them in urban situations. But now, while I’ve maintained the same style and characters, you can see my various collections combined into one dreamy story line that’s almost fairytale-like.

What made you choose that medium?

I’d have to say oil painting is not only my medium of choice but also my forte. I love digital work, but I tend to spend so much time drawing details and making each piece valuable and unique for personal satisfaction. When I sell a painting, I want to know that product is received with love.

How do you find inspiration?

I find a lot of my inspiration in nature, from graffiti, and urban landscapes and culture. My children and childhood are an important source of inspiration for me as well.

What is your favorite aspect of art?

I’d say connecting with my audience is ultimately what I seek to achieve with my art, as does every artist. This is actually something I feel I’ve managed to do well with. Given the variety of style of my works, as seen in my Buroughs, Los Niños, Urban Dreams and Pulgha & Birds collections, most everyone is able to connect on some level, whether it be a moment from their childhood or travels.

Who inspired you to be an artist?

My father was not only an artist but an art collector, specifically works by Dali. The first memorable connection I had with a particular piece was with Dali’s “Freud's Perverse Polymorph (Bulgarian Child Eating A Rat),” which really set the tone for my style. After that, growing up in New York around Lincoln Center, I was always surrounding by art in school and especially out of school in the form of graffiti, which can be seen in most of my works to-date.