Sizzling Spotlight: Alex Koenig & Smeesh

Welcome back to the Sizzling Spotlight, where we feature Tallahassee and surrounding area creatives whose work sizzles. We showcase not just designers but creatives of all forms: they need only possess the spark of creativity – to be “fire” (as the kids say). 🔥

This month we’re thrilled to feature the sizzling work of Alex Koenig and Michelle Medrano (aka Smeesh).

Alex and Michelle are muralists, musicians and all round artistic people who, along with Alex’s brother, Peter Koenig, make up the BAET Collective. Their art decorates the exterior and interior walls of many Tallahassee businesses, most notably in the All Saints Art District surrounding Gaines Street and Railroad Ave. Both are major supporters of AIGA TLH as not only frequent event attendees but also event partners. They will be missed as they move to Atlanta.

Alex Koenig is from Crawfordville, Florida. He painted his first mural in 2014 with his brother Peter, with whom he founded BAET Collective in 2015.

His graphic style was influenced by a love of comic books and skateboard art.

Alex said: “Linework is my favorite part about the process. Each mural is an opportunity to push myself to do something new and different. I love to work with different clients because I get to play with new subject material while still having a lot of creative freedom.”

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Michelle Medrano, also known as Smeesh (formally Soymeeshii), was raised in Islamorada, Florida and joined BAET in 2016. In 2020, Michelle participated in Design Week Tallahassee’s Ink Wars event.

“I love bright colors! I like making characters that look candy-coated yet are rough and creepy in some aspects. It’s a nice balance of not too innocent and not too naughty,” said the artist known as Smeesh.

Michelle has started dabbling in more adult content with characters dressed in latex with whips and other accessories.

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The couple, who were married in December 2020, also creates music.

“I’ve written, recorded, and toured with the band Bees and Enormous Tigers for about 10 years,” Alex said.

The band released an album in 2019 called “The Red Flower,” which can be heard on Spotify. Alex played drums and co-wrote the album with Peter Koenig.

Michelle recently released a single with musician Mock Morose called “Gamer” (also on Spotify). This was her first musical feature as Smeesh.

Michelle said she is, “very excited to be releasing more”.

“I’m currently working on a collaborative project with Alex Koenig called Lil Krillo. It’s been a long time coming, but I hope to release our first single by the end of 2021,” said Michelle.

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As is our tradition with the Sizzling Spotlight, we asked a member of the community familiar with the couple’s work to talk about it.

“BAET Collective are one of the 3 OG street artists of Tallahassee, a city now well known for murals and public art, a large part because of their contributions and talents. Their art specifically has been incredibly influential in peaking the interests of the general public (art lovers and “civilians” alike) as their content is bright, fun, playful, and always leaves the viewer with a smile. It is sad to see these happiness-dealers depart Tallahassee, but I wish them all the best as they move to the big city to seek their fortune, and am just happy to have had the opportunity to collaborate with them and get their work in the Art District!”

–Adam Kaye, Co-Owner & CFO at Railroad Square Art District

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To view more sizzling work, follow Michelle’s instagram and online portfolio.

To view more sizzling work, follow Alex’s instagram and online portfolio.

If you know of a local creative whose work sizzles, contact us and stay tuned for future spotlights.

By John Lhotka
Published May 20, 2021
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