Artist Crush: Miles RegisAuthor:Lindsey Shook
L.A.-based Miles Regis is known for his vivacious, large-scale work that is intended to express injustice and hope around the world. Born in Trinidad, the palette of each piece express the soul of his native region while the modernity of his perspective appeal to contemporary collectors alike. In celebration of Miami Art Week, we spoke with Regis about what is the driving factor behind his work, how he hopes it will move patrons and what we can expect this week when he shows at Art Miami (Cynthia Corbett Gallery #AM100, in the Art Miami Pavilion).
–Your work is very reflective of American politics. How does it speak to social and political issues in Trinidad and throughout the Caribbean? I think some of the messages in my work connect with a global audience on some level, or at least that’s the hope. Being from the Caribbean region—perhaps many there can relate to either my perspective on situations or with my sense of humor—but at this point I’ve lived in L.A. way longer than I’ve lived anywhere else, so I am clued in to different mindsets and points of view that end up on the canvas. My work really speaks to the human condition. I address very universally relatable understandings. My sweet spot is commentary on life and what we collectively experience as a society. I address social injustice and shine a light on the hopes and fears of marginalized people. I feel like one can go anywhere in the world and someone somewhere will have these feelings of being seen as ‘less than.’ Inequality and social injustice is present in some form just about everywhere. There is always going to be the haves and have nots. That is a universal truth.
–Are you a vocal activist in your own life? Very much so. I do the work through my art. I see myself as an artivist. I’ve been doing this for over 20 years. Some of my early work has been even more provocative and risqué.
-Which one artist and/or public figure has inspired you the most? To be honest they all the greats have inspired me, it has never been just one. It is as if one wouldn’t exist without the other. I am currently in a group exhibition honoring one of my favorite artists, Stevie Wonder. The show is at the Andaz Hotel in West Hollywood until December 31st and is presented by art | Melanated. It is also my first foray into the medium of sculpture.
-How has living in California influenced your process and/or approach to the work? We live in absolute paradise. I mean the weather alone is perfection. I get to create outdoors on a daily basis and you really can’t beat that. I am so inspired by all the various energies L.A. has to offer. There is so much culturally to draw from with the many pockets of different nationalities present.
-Can you share what you will reveal next week during Miami Art Week? A taste of what’s coming next, is more authentic work that is relevant to now. Raw, deep and in your face. My new work is resolutely full of joy, color, and pulsing with the life of humanity, a kind of oasis of ancestral love and unity amid/engaged with these trying times of division.
-From fashion to commercial work and your fine art pieces you are working across many mediums. What can we expect next from you? I hope it remains fresh and new. I’m really staying true to the energy of the present. So depending on what is happening in the world my art is going to reflect that. I have a couple wearable art deals pending and my first solo museum show. I think that the Exit Through the Gift Shop experience will be grand. And I’ll definitely be embracing some of the new technology art experiences that are now available. It’s fun to always have that wow factor going.
-Where is your favorite place to hear good music in L.A.? I love the Hollywood Bowl. The acoustics are incredible and it’s such a great experience seeing your favorite acts there with the relaxed dining set up, with a great bottle of wine of course.
-What hotel is your favorite in the world? The Soho Beach House in Miami Beach. I have created loads of great memories there. The architecture, the beach, the people…and more. My art was on display in the hotel for all of 2023 which made my connection to the hotel all the more special.
-If you could create an album cover for any musician, who would it be? Right now, Myself! I’m dying to share my music with everyone. Oh, and SZA of course.
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