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Sundial: How this late Wynwood street artist became ‘Nobody’

Nobody_Wynwood.jpg
Courtesy of Rico James
Scott Patterson's artist name was Nobody or TMNK — the Me Nobody Knows. He became known around Wynwood for the characters he painted wearing a crown and for tagging the phrase “Art is My Weapon.”

Think back on Wynwood before it had a Warby Parker.

Back when the Wynwood Walls art exhibit was actually free, before it was a tourist destination and a new gold rush for South Florida developers.

Back then, it was a place for artists to practice their street art. It was a place for artists, like Scott Patterson.

He went by the name Nobody. Or TMNK — the Me Nobody Knows. And he soon became known in the neighborhood for the characters he painted wearing a crown and for tagging the phrase “Art is My Weapon.”

He even scaled a towering billboard of Lebron James next to the downtown arena and tagged it with the phrase, “Nobody can stop me.”

Now Patterson— Nobody —is the subject of a new documentary by his friend and art fan, Rico James.

NobodyWasHereFilm.jpg
Courtesy of Rico James
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Nobody Was Here... The Life of TMNK is a new documentary film by Rico James.

He started the film years ago, tracing Nobody’s path from New York to Europe to his adopted home of Miami.

Patterson died suddenly in 2016, and James stopped cold. But something kept him going.

On the Jan. 10 episode of Sundial, we talked with James about picking up the project again after his friend’s death. He finished the film, called Nobody Was Here, this year. We also talk about Wynwood’s evolution into the neighborhood it is today. Listen to the full episode above.

This conversation touches on issues regarding mental health and suicide. If you or someone you know needs help, please know you have options. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline number is 988. You can call or text that number.

On Sundial's previous episode, we spoke with Mirissa Neff, who directed the documentary This is National Wake, which is about a multi-racial punk band in South Africa during apartheid. It’s playing Monday, January 16 at the Miami Jewish Film Festival.

Listen to Sundial Monday through Thursday on WLRN, 91.3 FM, live at 1 p.m., rebroadcast at 8 p.m. Missed a show? Find every episode of Sundial on your favorite podcast app, such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify.

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Carlos Frías is the host of WLRN's Sundial. He is a bilingual writer, a journalist of more than 25 years and the author of an award-winning memoir published by Simon & Schuster.
Leslie Ovalle Atkinson is the lead producer behind WLRN's daily magazine program, Sundial. She previously produced Morning Edition newscasts at WLRN and anchored the midday news. As a multimedia producer, she also works on visual and digital storytelling.
Elisa Baena is an associate producer for Sundial.