Miles Davis | Massive Burn Studios

Lives in: Atlanta, GA, USA
Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts, Painting from Auburn University
Describe your art in 3 words: Resonant. Evolving. Honest.
See More Work:

March of Life I & II (diptych) - Acrylic, Mixed Media, Blacklight on Canvas | 96"x24" | SOLD

"Through painting, I explore the crossroads of modern spirituality and science and seek to examine those complexities in an honest way. Inspired by the evolving relationship between personal and cultural identity, I use crisp illustrative aesthetics and dramatic symbolism through a loose, organic process to evoke an ethereal resonance and engage the viewer’s sensibilities to the human condition."

What themes does your current work involve?
Aside from continued process experimentation, most of my current work explores theoretical science, modern spirituality, and the evolving human experience.
Describe your creative process.
Sometimes I’ll have basic pencil sketches or studies. However, I usually just start and let my work evolve organically. I’m as surprised at the finished product as the next person most of the time. Occasionally, I will use reference photos, but generally, I prefer painting straight from my imagination. I also tend to work on multiple pieces at once to let my mind play without putting too much pressure on any one particular idea or piece.
What influences your work? What inspires you? Why do you make art?
I love watching various documentaries and learning about energy, science, space, art and artists, pop culture, and how all of these affect our lives. My influences are ever growing and changing, but I’ve recently been excited about Expressionism, Caravaggio (Mannerism), and Otto Dix. Much to my chagrin, I’ve also been studying more Abstract/Contemporary Art. However, at my heart, I’m an 80s and 90s kid, so aesthetically, I have a lot of illustrative tendencies. My personal experiences and interaction with our current world both inspire me and push me to make art. Creating for me is like breathing, I’ve always done it.
What are your goals and plans as an artist in 2023?
Well, I have different timelines I evaluate. Some of my goals are to further bigger ambitions by taking incremental steps. I recently had my first solo museum exhibition, so I’d love to start pushing my work into more public institutions and collections. My networking efforts are already off to a great start in 2023, and of course, I want to continue creating intriguing and relevant work that excites me. I’m trending toward larger work at the moment, however, I see a storage challenge on the horizon as I create quite proficiently.
What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?
Good art is honest learning at play, Great art does what good art does, but to a more focused and proficient level. Good art gets a reaction, great art can inspire profound changes. Historically, however, art is mostly at the whim of cultural subjectivity. I’ve always felt that too much art education can indoctrinate and negatively effect unique personal work, which is where I feel much of the real value of art comes from. Aesthetically speaking, derivative work tends to have one or two influences, whereas brilliant work comes from many influences. Rarely does great work get produced in a void.
What is the role of the artist today?
I didn't choose to be an artist - art chose me. Since childhood, I have had a compulsion to create; even when I tried to stop painting for any length of time, the need to create always lingered. Eventually, I assumed the life of a professional artist and I now realize this is my purpose - to create art that speaks honestly to the human condition, not specific to any one person or party. The role of an artist today should be to create honestly, work from an evergreen learning mindset, and to challenge themselves personally, their viewers, and/or the current art establishment. All of the great artists I admire from the past have done just that—albeit, some more successfully than others.
How do recent advancements in technology affect your art practice? How may recent developments in Artificial Intelligence (image generator software) affect the definition of fine art?
I look at art history and my artistic practice as a journey - a testament to my human experience - both personally and collectively. I hope that resonates in my work for the viewer.
The Luminaries - Acrylic, Mixed Media, Blacklight on Canvas | 40"x30" | $3000
Learning Curve - Acrylic, Mixed Media, Blacklight on Canvas | 30"x40" | $3000
Collective Unconscious - Acrylic, Mixed Media, Blacklight on Canvas | 48"x48" | $5000
Seasons of Wither - Acrylic, Mixed Media on Canvas | 72"x72" | $8000


This interview was published by Circle Foundation of the Arts. © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist

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