Miami’s Artistic Visionaries: Meet Leandro Sorice, a SCENE by Jonathan Stinson
Feb 12, 2020
Jonathan Stinson is a Miami-based writer covering lifestyle categories from culinary, entertainment, hospitality, art, music to travel. He immerses himself in reporting on multi-cultural storytelling of visionaries, motivators and the next generation of innovators. This is the Life According to JS.
After years of traveling, I followed my heart and it led me to Miami. The place known for sunshine, gorgeous Hispanic culture, endless horizons, culinary and hospitality gems, and my personal favorite, local artisans with truly creative and one of a kind talent. On the Saturday of MLK weekend, I met up with someone who has inspired me for years with his courage and perseverance in the art world – the Wynwood district of Miami.
This neighborhood thrives with local artists and I was lucky enough to spend the day with Leandro Sorice although the world might know him as Charlie Nibbles. He picked me up from my downtown high-rise apartment across from the American Airlines Arena, and we went to Wynwood to drop off some of his paintings to a local gallery which he referenced as being his “old stuff”, of which I still thought were brilliant. We loaded the canvases in the car, mesmerized by the pop-ups and art culture strolling the streets of Wynwood.
Leandro is charismatic and always makes you feel like you are on the cusp of greatness while in his presence. We stopped by Le Labo, as I needed a new scent, Ray Ban for some glasses, and then Oh Fuck Yeah, which is a local boutique with a pricy yet impeccable curation. As we were browsing, I came across a section that seemed familiar and as I pulled a shirt off the rack, it was unexpectedly Leandro’s new shirt collection hanging in the store. Leandro and I met eyes and he giggled realizing I had noticed. He walked over and as many artists do, started mocking the flaws of his work. As I flipped through the art, I got chills, as I knew this was his best collection yet. We greeted the owner and then left to pick up his gorgeous wife and child for lunch. We went to a Miami local favorite, 27 Restaurant at the Freehand Hotel. We ordered a brunch of steak and eggs, breakfast tacos, and yucca fries.
We spoke about art, working in Miami, raising a four-year-old, life lessons, irony and current events, yet it was a peaceful and positively energetic experience. He laughed, “Being a stay at home dad, I needed my work to be a collaborative effort with my four-year-old son, so he paints for himself and not all over my clothes.” Being with a family of such creativity and knowledge, was casual but honest while being passionate and inquisitive.
Leandro wore his own line of branded and layered Charlie Nibbles that looked as if he did not think twice when throwing it on, but because of his glowing charm and charisma it was chicly fashion forward. It takes courage to wear your own art, and in my humble opinion, I think more artists should wear their creations proudly – he is a true artist. During brunch, Leandro got a call from a friend that told us to meet him on Star Island. I immediately got excited as this is one of the most exclusive celebrity neighborhoods in all of Miami.
We finished our meals and headed to the island, as if it was just another Saturday, when we found ourselves on an empty lot about to break ground with a Rolls Royce waiting for us. A very kind, generous, and well-known doctor hopped out to greet us. He calmly said, “Let’s take the boat out”, and with no hesitation, we came aboard. For a few hours we laughed and spoke about architecture, family values, friendship, and of course, art. After hearing about his exploration of the world – I learned – Leandro fell in love with Miami due to its vibrant colors and iconic flora. Miami prospers with local artists, which is why the world gravitates to this culturally diverse city.
Leandro Sorice is that inspiration.