If you’re an art lover living in the 305, chances are you’re already a die-hard Santlov fan with a favorite piece from his “Toysrus” collection. If you’re not, it’s time to open up your social media apps and follow @Santlov right now. With work that is as visually stimulating as it is mentally engaging, it’s hard to imagine that the Miami-based artist never received formal training—rather, he says, his creative genius happened “sort of by accident.”
Five years ago, Santlov began using photography and graphic design to create his now widely recognized “Toysrus” series (featuring iconic characters from popular films like Darth Vader texting on an iphone and Spiderman sporting Nike “Spiderkicks”)— a hobby that quickly turned into a passion. “It’s an attempt to humanize societal, cultural, and technological norms onto inanimate objects,” he says.
Though he’s an art star on the rise, he acknowledges it was the Magic City that helped propel him to success. “[You develop] a unique set of life skills to thrive in this multicultured, multisensory, and multilayered city,” he says.
Today, Santlov continues to create art with the goal of making Miamians (and his 310,000 Instagram followers) think differently. “Find beauty in everything and seek a higher purpose. Don’t become someone’s toy!” Find Santlov’s work at the Avant Gallery at the Epic Hotel, 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Ste. 102, Miami, 786-2208600; avantgallery.com/santlov. Santlov is transforming the way Miami—and the world—perceives art by fusing fantasy with reality.