Miguel Mendoza, 19, a graphic design major at the New World School of the Arts has taken his talents to the streets of Miami.
He may not be as politically controversial as famous street artist Banksy, but he is slowly beautifying run-down neighborhoods around Miami, one sunflower-holding rabbit at a time.
With thousands of U.S. Priority Mail stickers stacking up in his home studio, Mendoza—tag name Miggs—creates street art stickers for the entire downtown community to view. Making six foot black and white personified rabbits using the stickers and some spray paint, Mendoza plans to not only trademark himself, but to inspire others to pick up a can or two and make their own art for all to view.
Mendoza’s detailed rabbits are a raw depiction of innocence and beauty as they stand silently suited, placing blossomed sunflowers on brick walls.
Street art has revolutionized the way our generation views art. Much more than simple graffiti, the likes of Banksy, Shepard Fairey, and Gaia—all infamous street artists using mixed media—have all cast their visions upon public property in an attempt to take art back to the people.
The sentiment is not entirely appreciated. For some people, it is considered more of an act of vandalism than a work of art.
“Honestly, I don’t like people who just spray paint anything on a wall and call it art, or do it to mark their territory. It ruins the building and actual art,” states Eduardo Cutino, 19, a computer science major at the Kendall Campus.
However, with the passing of time, more young adults are seeing this as just another form of self expression, one no different than painting on canvas.
“I’ve seen his work. I love street art. What better way to show and express what you feel than to put it on the street. Street art is getting more and more popular. Everyday I see a new tag or artwork on the street and it makes me happy,” said Robert Bolaños, 20, a film major at MDC’s Kendall Campus.
After being trained in various art forms—specifically fine art—in high school, Mendoza felt a change of pace was in order and began to look elsewhere for inspiration. Inspired by Shepard Fairey’s rebellious nature, Mendoza began doing street art when putting brush to canvas just wasn’t enough.
“I can make a painting, put it in a gallery and 50 people will see it. If I put it on the street it will be seen by 50,000 people,” Mendoza said.
Still defining himself as an artist, Mendoza explains that putting something where it doesn’t belong gives him quite a thrill. However, he mainly wishes to inspire others to bring art back to where it belongs—with the people.
Mendoza says his love for street art will never cease to exist. He plans to become a full-time graphic designer and use his position to advance his street art.
Making a name for himself via his trademark rabbits is just the first order of business for Mendoza. His dream is to put Miami on the map—right next to New York City—for its street art.
Mendoza—who hopes to one day be allowed to legally paint a mural at Wolfson Campus—confesses, “I don’t think making street art will ever stop. It’s the rebel inside me.”