Holbert was recently selected for representation at the NYAXE Gallery in Palo Alto, CA. NYAXE Gallery is a brick & mortar gallery that is managed by Catherine McCormack-Skiba, founder of www.myartspace.com. The gallery serves as a bridge between the physical and online art world.
Roulette Juliet by Miles Holbert
Brian Sherwin: Miles, you were selected for representation at the NYAXE Gallery in Palo Alto, CA. As you know, NYAXE Gallery is operated by the founders of www.myartspace.com and www.nyaxe.com and serves as a way to bridge the online and physical art world. Why did you decide to submit your work for consideration?
Miles Holbert: I live in a small town with very limited avenues to display work. I wanted to introduce my work to a broader audience so I have been looking for a way to show. I then saw the NYAXE Gallery’s call for artists, thought I would take a chance.
BS: You have stated that in your work you explore how Americans are being overloaded with stimuli. Thus, in your paintings there seems to be a fight for dominance between the portrait and surrounding imagery. Can you go into further detail about that-- as well as the general message you strive to convey with your paintings?
MH: This battle is waged purposely to undermine the power of the portrait. The portrait is meant to represent certain ideals that are of importance when regarding information. There or other sources of information in the painting such as color intensity and opposition, scale, line, plants and animals. These decorations are used as a distraction from the importance or meaning of the source image.
The cultural recognition is somewhat obvious in many of my paintings such as Pigs in Zen and May God Bless You and Keep You. These portraits are easily referenced in society and can be associated with serious symbolic representation. Other paintings in this series seem less important due to the normalcy of the portrait. The face seems average and even though it is treated with iconic qualities it doesn’t achieve the same level of recognition.
Death by Color by Miles Holbert
These portraits, normal as they appear, are actually taken from mug shots of rapists, killers, and child pedophiles. I am trying to convey the idea that we as Americans are overloaded with so much stimuli that it is sometimes difficult to determine what is of importance and what is not. There is a killer staring you in the face but all you can seem to concentrate on are the brightly colored flowers or the silhouettes of bunny rabbits.
We are so heavily addicted to stimuli that we sometimes overlook what is crucial and attend to the inconsequential. I feel this goes on way to much in America. For instance when I first started this series the war in Iraq was being heavily scrutinized. Instead of our nations leaders responding to the peoples concern about our involvement in Iraq they decide to go on a crusade to clean up steroid use in professional baseball. The media coverage and press on the steroid topic overshadowed the status of the war. Some Americans were outraged and some Americans were distracted by, in my opinion, the inconsequential.
The Apist by Miles Holbert
BS: Would you mind discussing one of your paintings? I’m Not Johnny perhaps?
MH: Funny story, I took this painting to class for critique and one of my class mates said “How cool, its Johnny cash! I absolutely love Johnny Cash!” I could see a slight resemblance, hair style, man in black that type of thing. I told her the only thing Johnny Cash and this guy have in common is that their both dead. I began to tell her that the gentleman in the painting was executed awhile back for multiple murders one involving a pregnant woman. Her look went from excitement to disgust in a matter of seconds.
This painting is a good example of the struggle for crucial information. It seems my classmate wanted to associate the image with a culturally iconic figure thus missing the real importance of the information. The Information is lost again.
This is Part 1 of my interview with Miles Holbert. To read Part 2 click, HERE
Take care, Stay true,
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