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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Dave Miles at the Art of Framing

Dave Miles

Saturday night, I am going to see “Trompe l’Oeil, Trompe le Monde”, a solo show by Dave Miles. Dave Miles is well known in San Diego. His paintings, full of references to science and history symbols and figures with an apocalyptic side and a lot of humor, are often exhibited here. There are two walls to show the work in the gallery. On the main one, there is a series of small paintings. The first things I notice are the frames. There are about ten paintings, they are all in different formats, and the frames are all very different from each other. It looks as if it was a statement. On the back wall, there are three paintings, very different from the others.
A woman next to me buys “Deep blue OR The Bends”, a small painting representing two people sitting at a table in a room (of a submarine?) next to a window where a giant blue eye is looking at them from the ocean. Everybody cheers. The woman, very enthusiastic: “I love the blue!”.

I tell Dave Miles I am intrigued by the frames. He seems surprised by the question but tells me that he finds frames at a low cost and it’s nice when they fit the paintings he makes. He needs to frame his work because, he says, a lot of the surfaces he uses are not very nice on the sides. I ask about the paintings on the back wall, they are so different. He says he likes to change the style he uses as a function of the subject.

Dave Miles, “Mr Klein of Flatland”, 2008

For example, the very flat looking painting suits the subject of “Mr Klein of Flatland”, which is the third very different painting shown here. He explains that the exhibition is a retrospective of his work and the three paintings on this wall are the new work, the new directions.

“Darwin”, 2008, in collaboration with Angela Miles

The two portraits “Darwin” and “Goodall”, acrylic on raw canvas, are collaborations with his wife Angela Miles, who is also an artist. They wanted to make a series of portraits of naturalists. He says they went to an exhibition of Morris Luis and figured out a way to interpret the technique Luis used on raw canvases. His wife paints the raw canvases very intuitively first. Then, through the chance of the lines and drippings, with the portraits of the naturalists he wants to paint at hand, he chooses which naturalist’s face fits the best the space. The series was created that way. The result is certainly interesting. Collaborative work is such a challenge!

- So how long did you paint in the “realistic” style?
- Three years.
- And “Mr Klein of Flatland” is the newest painting, right?
- I painted it yesterday!

I could not do that! Just doing something like that without asking too many questions. Hanging an almost “not yet dry” painting without even waiting to see how it feels after a few days…
The head full of questions regarding freedom in art and how to have a fresh attitude, I head to Garage, a gallery which is a garage, in Alabama street, not very far from here.

The Art of Framing
3333 Adams Avenue
San Diego, CA 92116

1 comment:

A.K. Miles said...

This is a wonderful write up, thank you for taking the time to stop by and ask questions.

So many times the process is as important as the content.