My portrait of South Florida street artist DEXOS

One of the features about my work that I love is the variety of people I get to work with: one day it’s a Governor, another day it’s the head of a non-profit and last night it was with a talented street artist named DEXOS.  I first met DEXOS (that’s his street name-his real name is Alexis Samaniego) when I attended the Wynwood Graffiti Art by Bike Tour and he was doing a live demonstration painting a commissioned mural of Jim Morrison.  I was impressed with both his work and his energy so I talked with him about being a subject in a portrait.  His work can be viewed at and

I decided I wanted to photograph him at night to give the portrait a gritty, urban feel and to use spot lights to illuminate portions of the image but leave other areas dark.  I also added two flashes to freeze-frame the spray paint in mid-air to give a sense of movement.  It worked and I love the results.  To view a slideshow of the images, please click on the blue text that says, “View with PicLens.”

For this portrait session, I chose his Jim Morrison mural as a background which is painted on a wall located at The T Shop Miami at 2412 North Miami Avenue in the Wynwood Arts District of downtown Miami.  And I got some help setting up the shoot from Alexis’s friends Frank Mainade Jr. and Lucas Habermann who own The T Shop and were there setting up for a party they were hosting launching their new District 5 clothing line.  Alexis also wanted a photograph of him with one of his recent murals of Dwyane Wade.

Please note, these are low resolution images for quick uploading and viewing and all images from my website are available as high resolution downloads, prints or enlargements, etc.

Is this “Street Art” or “Graffiti”?  I didn’t know the answer at first so I researched it.  Basically, street art is legal art i.e. the art is done on “legal walls” which are approved by the building’s owners whereas graffiti is done on buildings which have not been approved.  There is an incredible amount of really good street art in the Design District and Wynwood areas of Miami and the organization which has really spearheaded the effort and curated this work is Primary Flight.

One of my on-going projects is doing portraits of “Interesting, Accomplished & Prominent People” and some of these portraits find their way into my exhibits.  If you personally know an “Interesting, Accomplished or Prominent” person and would like to recommend them to be photographed by me and included on my website, please send me an email.

To stay updated on my latest portraits, Fan or Like my Facebook page: Liam Crotty Photography.

DEXOS can also be viewed at:

Miami Beach 411 – my portrait has caused quite a stir and discussion on the topic of street art versus graffiti.

Liam Crotty Photography Facebook Page

CNN iReport

Miami New Times Flickr Photo Pool

One Response

  1. myra wexler August 14, 2010