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.
Another influential figure in Paredes' artistic career is his mentor, Ronnie Cutrone. Cutrone was Andy Warhol's immediate assistant at the Factory during the notorious pop artist's most productive and prestigious years. To Paredes, his mentor's paintings are the essence of pop: colorful, lively and highly accessible. Cutrone's constant use of bright and fluorescent colors not only influenced Warhol's return to such hues, but shaped Paredes' color palette choices as well. Paredes' piece "Ronnie, is that you?" pays homage to Cutrone and features one of Paredes' sons painted on a vintage Mickey Mouse bed cover. The child represents the artist looking for Ronnie.
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.
In February 2011, the artist relocated Miguel Paredes Fine Art Gallery to a larger Wynwood space and unveiled his first 3D interior mural entitled "Brownstone Lounge" – a collaborative project with Miami?based interior designer, 3D specialist Jeff Vaughan and celebrated Broadway scenic designer and producer Antonio Marion, CEO of Marion Theatrical Productions in New York City. A month later, Paredes donated a mosaic mural entitled "The New Yorker/Senator" to the Miami Design Preservation League's Art Deco Welcome Center located in the heart of South Beach. The artist became the first Miami?Dade resident to ever receive two simultaneous proclamations from the City of Miami Beach and Village of Pinecrest honoring his support of historic preservation, devotion to the city and positive impact on the community.
In an effort to continue his commitment to the community and dedication to charitable public art works, Paredes was joined by Mayor Cindy Lerner to unveil two separate charitable art projects at Pinecrest Elementary in October of 2011: an expansive, permanent 24?foot, tile mosaic and a custom?painted dog sculpture, which is part of the SmARTy Dog for SmART Schools program, commissioned to raise money for electronic "Smart Boards" to be installed in classrooms. Miguel was then invited to create the commemorative design for the 50th Anniversary of the Junior Orange Bowl for which he received a Certificate of Appreciation from the City of Coral Gables during their kick off reception on Nov.1, 2011. The Junior Orange Bowl International Tennis Championship has consistently drawn talented players, who have gone on to gain international recognition in the professional circuit including Andre Agassi, Chris Evert, Jimmy Connors, Andy Roddick, Monica Seles and many more. The tournament is considered to be one of the most prestigious junior tennis tournaments in the world.
Miguel Paredes was named the official artist of the 12th Annual Latin GRAMMY® Awards. The Latin Recording Academy® announced at the September Nominee Press Conference that Paredes has received the highly acclaimed honor of being the commissioned artist to create the artwork for the VIP event invitation, commemorative show tickets, collectible poster and official program book for the industry's pinnacle recognition of Latin music.
As a judge in the 2011 BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Artisan Series, Paredes supported the efforts of BOMBAY SAPPHIRE®, Russell & Danny Simmons' Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation and Complex Media to launch a nationwide search to identify the finest undiscovered talent in the field of visual arts. South Florida's regional competition was held at his gallery during a semi?finals event on October 22, 2011. The finale event took place during Art Basel 2011 co?hosted by Russell Simmons.
Paredes has also signed on with ACME Archives to create custom artwork for Disney Underground, which celebrates the interpretations of a new generation of visual artists stemming from the urban underground pop art movement. Chris Jackson, Acme's Director of Creative Affairs and Product Development notes, "Miguel's inspired take on the urban?pop movement makes him a perfect fit for Acme's Disney Underground line. Mr. Paredes' Disney work is showcased among the top tier of Acme's licensed art in galleries worldwide including the new Acme Gallery at FAO Schwartz Fifth Ave in New York.
Paredes is well known for his iconic, Japanese anime?inspired digital series Pulgha™ & Birds. In this delightful collection, Pulgha™, a magical flea, and her friends, the spirited Birds Yori & Kosue, join forces for good. The William Morris Endeavor Agency has signed on to represent the Pulgha™ collection to develop a branded cartoon series as well as other licensing opportunities for Paredes' designs and products. An additional animated sitcom, "The Wheelies" is under development. The show bases much of its humor on parodying American pop culture, politics and the human condition. It is represented by the Revolutus Agency.
In January of 2012, Paredes partnered up with Alex Cesaria of Unix Fine Art. Cesaria signed on to represent Miguel and curate the Miguel Paredes Fine Art Gallery. UNIX represents and carries works from renowned and established artists such as Warhol, Keith Haring, Roy Lichtenstein, Damien Hirst, Os Gemeos, Peter Anton, Max Wiedemann, Shepard Fairey, Miguel Correa, Alex Guofeng Cao, Zhong Biao, Chen Man and many others.
Paredes is breaking new ground in exciting and innovative art movements. He continues to make his mark by further expanding his inspirational environment and simultaneously showcasing his works at local, national and international shows. In 2012, Paredes has upcoming exhibitions planned in London, China, and Seoul. Korea.
As an extension of his artistic career, in 1998 Paredes noticed a trend of nightclubs distributing flashy flyers and, drawing from his extensive knowledge of Japanese animation and comic book characters, he decided to overcome his fear of computers and purchased a Macintosh. The very first flyer he produced was such a hit among management and patrons of the trend?setting nightclub, Groove Jet, that the club immediately designated him as their sole designer. Other clubs caught on and from this grew his multi?million dollar, nationwide graphic design and printing company, PK Graphics. The company now services printing needs for 75,000 clubs nationwide and numerous corporate accounts. PK Graphics is the largest postcard printer in the United States and is an industry leader for printing affordable, fast and high impact material.