Inside the Internal Muse with Artist Misha Tyutyunik
March 11, 2016 by
Artist and muralist Misha Tyutyunik (aka mdot) has been transforming public walls throughout New York City with brightly colored, socially aware murals. Influenced by German Expressionism, Socialist Realism, and comic books, Tyutyunik works with community engagement projects and youth programs to beautify neighborhoods in addition to his fine art and street art endeavors. Tyutyunik’s work has been shown across Manhattan and Brooklyn, from pop-up installations to fine art galleries.
Last night, Tyutyunik’s latest solo show “Inner Muse” opened at Melet Mercantile in Soho. A synthesis of internal and external inspiration, the “inner muse” the artist refers to culminates in the drive to aspire, formed from the combination of cultural icons and personal drive. Each work in “Inner Muse” is a portrait without features, symbolic of the vessels of icons that drive people to be inspired to succeed. “Muses are usually thought of as external people that later inspire you to do work,” Tyutyunik explains of his work. “For me, everything you need is within you. It’s about whatever inspires you to be great.”
Indicative of the artist’s work ethic and business-savviness, Tyutyunik curated a selection of apparel he’s designed of late to accompany his paintings, activating the space with a street-art-meets-street-wear edge. “Do what you love, don’t compromise,” he said about his aspirations. INDUSTRY RULE X MDOT, Tyutyunik’s collaborative project with the brand, captures the artist’s philosophy and style impeccably, from customized sneakers to painted jean jackets.
It’s easy to see why Tyutyunik was commissioned to design a 150+ foot mural for Aby Rosen’s new hotel development at 11 Howard Street. Along with a team of youth from Groundswell, Tyutyunik worked to capture the history and spirit of Soho in the design. The idea behind the striking visual finds its roots in the cultural and economic history of Soho, an area with a strong multi-cultural and industrial past. Tyutyunik illustrates the textile industry, jazz scene, and pays homage to Jean-Michel Basquiat with the inclusion of the art icon’s signature crown. A ship with protruding fists references Soho as one of the first free Black communities in the United States. “We wanted to touch on the different neighborhoods, so there’s Little Italy, Chinatown, just all the different ethnicities and cultures that are around,” Tyutyunik explains.
“Inner Muse” is on view at Melet Mercantile, 84 Wooster Street Suite 202. The show runs from March 10-31.