49. Tawnie Silva

Categories: 100 Creatives
In honor of our MasterMind genius awards, Cultist proudly presents "100 Creatives," where we feature Miami's cultural superheroes in random order. Have suggestions for future profiles? Email cultist@miaminewtimes.com with the whos and whys.
Tawnie Silva.jpg
49. Tawnie Silva
When you see artist Tawnie Silva in the flesh, you wouldn't expect that he uses so much pink in his artwork. He's more Brawny the Lumberjack than Christo. With his massive physique, he's probably capable of delivering a deadly Chuck Norris-style roundhouse kick to the face, but instead he lends his strength to grieving kids at the Moyer Foundation's Camp Erin and is a registered hospice volunteer. The man uses his steel hands to transform text, photography, textiles, and paint into mind-altering vistas. His sculptures and other artwork play with your mind and tickle your funny bone.


Silva collaborated with the late New York artist Lou Laurita on several projects, including the "If You Say Hi I Will Kill You" exhibit at Red Dot Project. He is currently with the Butter Gallery in Wynwood, where he exhibited a mammoth, friendly blow up doll made from recycled plastic bags. He now lives, plays, and works in Miami.

Tawnie Work 2 Good RZ ED.jpg
Courtesy Tawnie Silva
1. List five things that inspire you.

-The thing that comes to mind when I'm asked what inspires me, I think emotionally over aesthetically. My number one inspiration is the story that I'm in at the time from my challenges to my victories in love and the struggle between being altruistic and cynical -- which leads in to self-help books. Music is a huge part of inspiration. Lyrical and instrumental songs have equal value to me. Visually, I'm inspired by children's books, toys, and the circus. 

Was that too many?

2. What was your last big project?

My first solo exhibit in the city of Miami as a solo artist: "You Like Everything About Me Except Me" at Butter Gallery in 2010.

3. What's your next big project?

This coming year I'm collaborating with Miami designer, Tomas Frenes, on a line of home accessories so look out for some super cool, edgy things.

Tawnie Work 1 ED RZ.jpg
Courtesy Tawnie Silva
4. Why do you do what you do?

I ask myself that question over and over, but having a gift and not sharing seems stingy and unjust. Sometimes it can feel like a burden, but in the end it's pure joy completely worth sharing.

5. What's something you want Miami to know about you?

That I surprise myself on how good I am in the kitchen...just ask my friends

What's something you don't want Miami to know about you?

I fantasize about living in New York.

Tawnie Silva LEAD.jpg
Courtesy Tawnie Silva

The Creatives so far:

50. Ginger Bardot
51. Jonathan David Kane
52. Naomi Fisher
53. Rocky Grimes
54. Teresa Barcelo
55. Paul Tei
56. Lee Materazzi
57. Karla Garcia
58. Anna Mixon
59. Octavio Campos
60. P. Scott Cunningham
61. Elena Garcia
62. Summer Hill
63. Autumn Casey
64. Juan Navarro
65. Serge Toussaint
66. David Rohn
67. Diane Brache
68. Spencer Morin
69. James Anthony
70. Jim Drain
71. Claudia Calle
72. Kevin Arrow

73. Andrew Hevia
74. Ana Mendez
75. Michael McKeever
76. Diana Lozano
77. Ricardo Pau-Llosa
78. Agustina Woodgate
79. Tarell Alvin McCraney
80. Jennifer Kronenberg
81. Farley Aguilar
82. Colin Foord
83. Karelle Levy
84. Matt Gajewski
85. Antonia Wright
86. Allen Charles Klein
87. Christy Gast
88. Gustavo Matamoros
89. Shareen Rubiera-Sarwar

90. Kyle Trowbridge
91. Clifton Childree
92. Jessica Gross
93. Danny Brito
94. Nektar de Stagni
95. Anthony Spinello
96. Vanessa Garcia
97. Justin Long
98. Rosie Herrera
99. Rick Falcon

100. Ingrid B


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