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AUSTIN MILES

ARTIST STATMENT

"Beauty is mine to define,"was a liberating truth I was fortunate to discover. 

 

My body of work is a series of paintings based on memories, spoken testimonies, and conversations that investigate the relationships between identity, self-worth, and belonging within today's political and social climate. My work explores the conversations that Black women have with themselves about themselves. Through the use of line, vibrant washes of color, texture, and aggressive mark-making, I capture unseen moments of a Black woman battling her internal conflicts and exploring her genuine self against stereotyped beauty perceptions. My work is a glimpse into a realm where emotions are personified and become

out-of-body experiences; orbiting, and flowing freely through the host.

A visual experience of insight and connection. In my piece Hate Won't Knock Me Over, I use swift, vibrant paint to orchestrate a Black woman existing in her tenacity through societal disapproval.

 

Foundations is a monochromatic series of paintings that challenge the viewer to sit in a single mood, experiencing contrasts between violent and benevolent brushwork. The present textures play off of imagery of roots as a metaphor for beginnings. Black women are the beginning, the planted roots that bring forth life to their communities. This group of work is an in-depth investigation to capture personal internal conflict without the figure. Memories and lived experiences are channeled into these works through the layering of paint washes and line. Line invites the viewer to discover the Black female form, painted with fluid surges of energy that embody emotion. Existing in a physical plane, emotional responses vibrate, feel, and grow on the canvas. 

 

Completion reoccurs as a common theme throughout my creative practice. I play with transparencies and levels of finish to discuss the condition of being ever-evolving as human beings. When is a person truly finished growing and understanding themselves? By pushing and pulling the space, a process of continuous building and destroying, each work becomes a unique journey of self-discovery. 


In addition to my studio work, I am passionate about activism in public art forms. My collaborative murals insert similar internal dialogue on the walls of Black communities. In this space, my work can engage open discussions about beauty, worth, and resilience daily with everyday passerbyers. My studio and public works are interconnected by a common thread: visual conversations that ignite insight and understanding of Black female narratives. The possibility of healing through conversation inspires me. I understood the magnitude of sparking these conversations when I stood in front of Mickalene Thomas's work for the first time. I was in awe of how pivotal her contributions are to the narrative of Black womanhood in America.

Beauty is mine to define.

 

#AuzCan #AuzDoes

 

Copyrights by Austin Miles 2020
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