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Street Spirit

How big is the divide between fine art and graffiti art? You’d think the two would be polar opposites – graffiti is, after all, a form of vandalism that acts as a window into urban discontent. Then again, the classic definition of fine art as something exclusive and refined has lost much of its meaning.

Yes, the worlds of urban art and the upscale gallery are now colliding at a higher rate of speed than ever, and at the apex of this fusion are two Miami graffiti artists, Murder and Typoe. Since the pair first met two years ago, Murder, a classically trained fine artist, and Typoe, who learned his craft on the streets, have collaborated on countless works both in and out of the studio. Their street work is made up of colorful wall-spanning murals with sharp contrast and stunning clarity that burst out in waves of symmetry. But the focus of their latest Exhibition, “A True Story I Once Made Up,” is something even more unique.

“With graffiti, there are places called tenants where artists go and gather and paint,” explains Murder via phone. “What we’re doing is going to the same spots and picking up the garbage, junk, rusty cans, whatever, and taking it back to our studio to work.” The result is a mix of mediums: found art is modified with graffiti tags, cartoonish characters, and crafts so that, according to Murder, it tells a 3-D story of the streets. “Typoe’s work is abstract based on shapes and color, using the natural forms and colors and decay, while I’ll mess with it, add paint on top and put my characters involved onto the pieces. We’re using the history and the color of those slums and vandalizing them in our own studio.”

This weekend is your last chance to catch this unique exhibition before it moves on, so hop to Antikulture Gallery (169 NW 36th St., Miami) before it’s gone. Call 305-573-3133, or visit
Oct. 12-13, 2007

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John Linn

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