"I would rather be hungry in the jungle than fed up in the zoo."
Daniel Fila, also known as Krave, is a multifaceted artist whose work ranges from mural installations to figurative and abstract paintings, as well as animations, and sculptural reliefs. Credited for being Miami's premiere urban artist, Fila is best known for his signature character The Fresh Monkey found hidden in most of his work. He is based in Little Havana.
Daniel Fila, also known as Krave, is a multifaceted artist whose work ranges from mural installations to figurative and abstract paintings, animations, and urban sculpture using a range of mediums, techniques, and aesthetics. Fila is best known for his signature character, The Fresh Monkey, which he incorporates into most of his works, his semi-nude mural "Erin" and the subsequent series which it inspired, "The Sunbather".
Fila has been influenced by many artists during different phases of his life, including artists as diverse as J.C. Leyendecker, Os Gemeos, Robert Crumb, Barry Mcgee, and Frank Frazetta.
Fila was born in Miami, Florida and raised in the suburb of West Perrine. Influenced by his father, a commercial artist, Fila began sketching as a young boy in order to express himself and distinguish his unique identity.
Fila would draw potent images to set himself apart. He attended local Miami schools until his artistic talents started getting him accepted into Magnet programs for the Arts.
Fila attended Design and Architecture Senior High (DASH), one of the country's most respected art schools, where he was first exposed to urban culture and street art - visual art in public spaces. The danger, intrigue, originality and urgency associated with graffiti would become one of the central themes in his development as an artist.
After DASH, Fila attended Columbus College of Art and Design, one of the oldest and largest private art and design colleges in the U.S. and graduated with a B.F.A.
Although Fila enjoyed the school, it was a long way from Miami. He coped with his homesickness by repeatedly playing Bob Marley, who remains one of the biggest artistic influences in his life.
After college, Fila returned to Miami where he searched for work as an illustrator, but always kept painting during his free time.
It was one of those paintings, "Erin", a 13-foot, posterior-view nude painted on a mural in the Miami Design District that helped catapult his notoriety when an anonymous passersby protested the sight of the half-naked woman on busy Biscayne Boulevard by buffing it.
Since then, Fila has been commissioned by the Ritz Carlton Palm Beach, MTV, Greyhound, SLS Hotel Miami Beach, The GMCVB among others. Michael Bay, the filmmaker, is a fan of his work and featured one of his murals in his latest film, Pain & Gain, shot in Miami and starring actor Mark Wahlberg.
Although much of Fila's street art can be found throughout Wynwood and the Miami Design District, Fila has ventured into Little Havana's burgeoning art scene with a mural entitled "Ladies in White", which was inspired by the Damas de Blanco, an opposition movement in Cuba, and a new project space, "El Fresco" where he currently works and collaborates.