Art Africa Miami is a unique curated fair that showcases visual works from the best emerging and established artists from Africa and its diaspora. During Art Basel, Art Africa Miami brings a vital and essential cultural service to the South Florida community, lending the Magic City a true international flair. One of the artists who will be showing at this amazing showcase will be Trinidad-born Miles Regis. Prolific in both fine art and fashion design, Regis freely swaps the materials and languages of each to enrich the other and believes every action is an opportunity for creative self-expression. Check out what he had to say about social issues, advice for young artists and what’s next for him.
Does any of your work engage with any particular social issues?
I feel like most of my work is social commentary. Most of my work is addressing what we are collectively experiencing as a society. Sometimes there is a deliberate message, but many times people see what they want to see. I have had people look at work and say it relates to what is the news of the day. I think when one views my pieces there is something somewhere in there that connects with or resonates with folk on a personal level. So that could be anything from the ‘me too movement’ to ‘anti-police brutality’ issues to ‘gender equality’ sentiments, and the list goes on and on.
‘Don’t Demonize Black’ is probably the most poignant social commentary of the pieces I am showing this year.
As always I feel like the less I say about the piece, the better. I believe that art is meant to be interpreted and I have heard so many beautiful takes on the message that people are getting from that painting.
Do you think art has the power to affect any kind of social change?
Absolutely. We all have to do our little part to affect change. Sometimes art is able to deliver a message in a subtle way, and there is so much power in connecting with an audience that may not be receptive to hearing certain messages when it comes from another outlet. The arts have a way of connecting us on such a deeply human level.
What advice would you give a young artist just out of college?
I would tell any artist to work on their craft every single day. For someone right out of college that may be even more important as they would need absolute focus as they build their body of work. Staying in the zone is important. Honoring your gift is important.
I am particularly excited about so many new young artists on the scene. There are several I love. One of my favorites would be Raji Bamidele. His work is a mixture of hyperrealism and abstraction. Just phenomenal work he is doing out of Nigeria.
What’s next for you?
Expanding and growing! I would love to travel more and connect with different art communities around the world. I am excited to take my art to new audiences around the world and to experience different cultures and have that reflected in the work I do moving forward. I have a few international shows lined up for 2019 and 2020. The most immediate art exhibitions already lined up for early 2019 would be in the Ivory Coast and France, and I am also in the beginning stages of planning a huge solo retrospective type exhibit for Houston in the spring of 2019.
Feature Image Photo Credit: Richard Corman