Miguel Paredes, born in New York in 1966 and of Latin American descent, is an artist and self-proclaimed "urban impressionist" who combines the exhilarating sense of New York graffiti art with the skill and perceptiveness of a true exceptional artist.
Growing up on 72nd Street in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Miguel 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 "Fame." His studies at Fiorello coincided with the explosion of street culture in the city and Miguel drew inspiration from notorious pop artists like Andy Warhol and Keith Haring while plunging headlong into the world of graffiti and pop art, taking the name "Mist" as his moniker.
Another influential figure in Miguel's artistic career is his mentor Ronnie Cutrone, an assistant to Andy Warhol 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 Miguel's color palette choices as well. His piece "Ronnie is that you?" pays homage to Cutrone and features one of Miguel's sons painted on a vintage Mickey Mouse bed cover, the child representing the artist himself looking for Ronnie Cutrone.
In 1986, Miguel left New York to come to still burgeoning Miami Beach, Florida, and soon after began apprenticing for Paul Kus, a former FBI art forgery expert, who made his mark on the art world by meticulously replicating, and then giving his own twist, to master works. Working on these legal replicas gave Miguel a newfound respect for fine art and afforded him a fertile ground to practice painting techniques just as the most accomplished artists before him had done.
At the age of 27, Miguel took a studio at the Art Center of South Florida, and focused his efforts on mixed media and conceptual art. He broke into the Miami Beach art scene after selling all of his pieces at one of his very first showings. Miguel was on his way to being one of the most prosperous Art Center artists and ultimately established his own private studio space on Lincoln Road, where he painted for hours on end.
By 1998, Miguel had noticed a trend of nightclubs distributing flashy flyers, and drawing from his extensive knowledge of Japanese animation and comic book characters, decided to overcome his fear of computers and purchased a Macintosh. The very first club flyer he produced was such a hit among management and patrons that the club immediately gave all future work to him. Other clubs caught on, and from this grew his multi-million dollar nationwide graphic design and printing company, PK Graphics. Today, PK Graphics is the largest postcard printer in the United States and services printing needs for 75,000 clubs nationwide as well as supporting numerous corporate accounts.
Miguel's newest venture, Paredes Publishing, founded in 2006, is a worldwide fine art wholesale and retail publisher. Paredes Publishing offers the highest quality prints on the market and ranges from traditional to transitional genres. Printing an eclectic portfolio of distinct and sophisticated artwork, the pieces come in both standard and custom sizes on canvas and paper, and are all created by emerging and established artists.
Even though Miguel remains at the helm of his companies, he always makes time for his art. His work continually draws the viewer into a never-ending interaction with the canvas and once engaged, the viewer will always discover details not seen before. Miguel paints vivid, brilliant images that create an atmosphere of question and mystery, immersing his audience in an unparalleled visual experience as well as inner journey. Every stroke, every pose, every shadow are thoughtfully constructed clues to the complex dialogue the artist is having with himself and with what he believes will be his legacy.
Miguel lives with his wife, Joyce, and their children in Miami, Florida.