If you’ve ever visited Little Haiti, you’ve probably seen Miami muralist Serge Toussaint’s work, which is sprinkled throughout the city. How can you tell it’s his work? His signature is a dollar sign instead of an “S” in Serge. He spends most of his time in Little Haiti, but his work can be seen in Liberty City, Little River, Allapattah, the Miami River and all the way to Fort Lauderdale.
Under the Sun’s Trina Sargalski spoke with Toussaint – a native Haitian who was raised in New York City and has lived in Miami for more than 15 years. He tells her that although he is Haitian, he never experienced Haitian culture until he moved to South Florida. Now, his life revolves around the language, music and art of Haiti.
After his first job in South Florida in 1994 painting a mural at his uncle’s fabric store on Northeast 54th Street, local business owners took notice of his talents, leading to many more jobs. Soon the local art community also took notice. In 2008, his work was included in the Nada Art Fair during Art Basel. The prestigious Fredric Snitzer gallery in Wynwood commissioned him to paint a storefront mural, and the Florida Department of Transportation hired him to paint a mural at an I-95 underpass in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Toussaint’s success is due in part to the rise of the visual art scene in Miami. A big part of that has been street art. Fans of his work say Toussaint is pure Miami. He says he’s been a painter for as long as he can remember. But in Miami he became an artist.
Songs “Jah Sou Kote’m” by Jah Nesta and “Dada’s Konpa” by Shleu Shleu Miami All Stars were used in this piece.