Maybe it’s the studio’s sea foam painted walls or the abundant tropical aesthetic that keeps the corner of Northeast 39th street in the Miami Design District bright and serene. Find artist Magnus Sodamin getting lost in his craft — painting momentary glimpses of what Florida’s greenery used to look like. After several years of Magnus living and breathing the Miami sunshine, his latest series derives from landscapes of the Everglades, 10 Thousand Islands National, and specifically using the exotic Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden as motif. Many of his outdoor escapades are seemingly integrated into his art pieces with a twist of real and uncanny.
As a child living in Norway, both grandparents influenced Magnus. Being a painter herself, his grandmother instilled painting skills in him from a young age and passed down the secret to observe art. Connecting with nature comes effortlessly, as fishing every morning (4 a.m. to be exact) with his grandfather has been a morning ritual since. From picking mushrooms and stems of wildflowers with his grandmother, these childhood occurrences serve great purpose in his art.
Curiosity plays a major role in art too, specifically within Magnus’ work. Using light as a “medium” in his paintings creates a sort of mysticism like no other. He provides the viewer a chance to experience the magical environment(s) upon them. Those enchanting strokes of various shades of green ignite the illusion of being inside the paintings.
As you get closer, the piece becomes very abstract and almost unrecognizable. It is here where the finer details can be spotted — there’s always something new, or hidden to discover as you perceive and look closely. Magnus has the ability to not only make one feel an experience but how magically humans interacting with nature dominates the bigger picture. He adds, “Plants need human care in order to be around. In the future, this may not be present”.
His creative process consists of layering — beginning with splatters of color on a blank canvas. Using objects to pour droplets of paint, like chairs and upcycled wooden pieces of oak trees he brought back from Hurricane Harvey, Magnus dips his brush into a plastic cup of water ready to swish away. From here, he begins to concentrate in one area to create a symphony of textures and details.
His secret to getting into the zone? “Always create with intention”, he says — to get lost in your work, there must be greater passion and mental strength to get there. Magnus encompasses painting as a private meditation. Going back and forth from what’s seen and unseen in reality, and merging that into art.
Embracing Florida’s current state of nature is not at its best condition. We could do better to care for our trees and oceans. We may not know exactly how to improve our reality but we could start by imagining a new Florida — healthier and abundant in greenery. For a sweet escape and a manifestation to our future, visit Primary Projects to mesmerize over some magical art pieces Magnus Sodamin.
Photos by Andrea Flores.
Andrea Flores is a Miami-native Writer & Photographer. Storytelling and capturing community moments are her passions.