Los Angeles-based Trinidadian artist Miles Regis is a self-taught fine artist. His work taps into the emotions of the exotic cultures of the world and adopts them in a proud and authoritative manner. He has kept that inner, explorative imagination of his mind saturated with notions, ideas and images reflective of a world filled with conflicting interests. Recently featured on CNN’s African Voices, Regis’ powerful work is provides thought provoking dialogue to which many notable collectors including Isaiah Washington, Nicollette Sheridan, and Ron Perlman are now paying attention.
Miles Regis sat down to discuss his contribution to “I LOVE LA” and his vision of art in the Digital Age.
Which work will you be exhibiting? Why did you select this piece?
The first painting of my series will be “Dig Yourself.” It is one of the cornerstone pieces from my recent show, “Sketch Me Hollywood” at The Miracle Mile Art Walk and my ongoing collaboration with American Rag Cie. The piece is all about self-love and embracing the unique qualities of self. It goes with the general theme of the show, which is one of finding acceptance from within rather than searching and seeking it from external sources.
I thought the painting was a great representation of Miles Regis as an artist. The message is clear and visually I identify strongly with the imagery. The print process possibilities on this particular painting also intrigue me.
What is your charity or cause? Why did you select this? Where does community work fit in with your ethos as an artist?
My cause is exposing children form various walks of live to the arts. I am working with Remedee (www.Remedee.org) on initiatives that educate underprivileged children globally, on art and photography and filmmaking.
Please talk about the art scene in LA: What is it like as an industry? What is it like as a community? Where and how do artists connect with the public? How does the public relate to the work?
The Los Angeles art scene is overwhelmingly vibrant!
In Los Angeles—Art Is Everywhere! (one of the titles of my paintings)
Please talk about Country Club Park, where you live and work. How does this neighborhood influence your work as an artist?
I was drawn to the history and cultural relevance of the neighborhood when I was on the market searching for my first home. It took me two years to find something available in the neighborhood. Eight years later I could not be more pleased.
What is most important is that I love the fact that my children can ride their bikes around the block and I can feel safe knowing that the neighborhood is this safe isolated pocket of suburbia nestled in the heart of all the action that is associated with Los Angeles. Knowing that it is a safe multicultural place where everyone is looking out for each other is an amazing feeling.
Then there is the history of knowing that so much amazing music and film and art was influenced by this neighborhood. It blows my mind to think that Sam Cooke owned a place on St Andrews Place, the street that I am on. And the fact that around the corner there are homes formerly owned by brilliant cultural pioneers such as Nat King Cole, Lou Rawls and Dorothy Dandridge is such an inspiration for me.
I feel like coming from this neighborhood my artistic statement must almost always have some historic relevance.
Why should people buy art?
To feed their souls.
Do you collect art? Who do you collect and why?
I do collect art; mainly vibrant art from regions of the world where I vacation. I especially love art from Caribbean artists I grew up idolizing. I have originals and prints by such Caribbean notables as Alexander King, LeRoy Clarke, Boscoe Holder, Michael & David Boothman. I collect art that I connect with spiritually.
What are your thoughts on the traditional role of the gallery in nurturing an artist’s career? How do you think artists will evolve in response to non-traditional sales opportunities?
The role of a gallery is critical in gaining visibility for artists in general. It is more so important for an emerging artist. Depending on the cache of gallery, the exposure can introduce you to the right audience for your creations. As an artist you always want to broaden your audience and appeal.
Alternative sales opportunities are equally as important. There are certain images that appeal to the masses and messages that are crucial and need to reach the masses.
Ultimately, it is important for me to be in the homes of people who follow my artistic journey and support my work who may not be in position to acquire an original at this point in time.
How did you connect with Cat Jimenez? What are your thoughts on Edition One Hundred? Why did you decide to be involved? How do you see this as a platform to reach a broader audience for your work?
Cat is such a visionary. She has the soul of an angel. I have been longing to team up with her in some capacity. When she shared with me her vision for the project I immediately committed to providing images that would speak to what the series was about. I love her passion for the arts and she is sincere in her love for and her undying support for the emerging artist here in Los Angeles. She is so well respected and has a reputation for delivering on her word, a quality that is quite admirable in the art scene. I am fortunate to have her love and support both from a personal and artistic standpoint.
What are your thoughts on Art in the Digital Age?
Art in the Digital Age excites me. I already have started experimenting with motion graphics and making use of the technology as it evolves before our eyes. It is important to embrace the changes and participate in the evolution. At the end of the day it is all about artistic expression and this can be executed through various platforms depending on the message and the intended audience.