INTERVIEW: PAINTER MILES DEBAS

 

A look into Miles Debas. A step into the abstract and an observation of color. On this interview we talk to Miles about stepping out of our comfort zones and reaping the benefits of one of the most feared outcomes, "failure". How much value is there in safety and how often do we factor risk into our equation of appreciation.

Enjoy our conversation with Miles Debas and most importantly his beautiful work.

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Hey Miles, Sergio here from buriedmuse. I'm ready to do the interview whenever you are.

Right on let's start.

By the way thanks again for taking your time to do this. We really appreciate it !

Hey i'm happy to do it, it's fun for me.

Great! I'm glad.

Its also a different type of conversation, I like the anonymity being built into it.

Certainly didn't mean for it to be that way haha but I'm glad the conditions are pleasing. 

Before we got this chat room, we spoke a little over Instagram and you mentioned you will be in a group show later this month. Could you tell me more about that?

Yes, I'm showing a few works on paper with a gallery in London called Beers. It's a large group of artists, fifty or so.

Its a group of "new" and "young" artists

I'm happy to be part of it. My work has been changing in the past year and I think it's an opportunity to make a first impression away from home. Away from my immediate location and it might give me a chance to make a different first impression again with a different audience

Is this your first event outside the U.S?

That's an interesting idea. Imagining two prospects across waters describing your work based on their first impressions. How different do you think their descriptions of your work would be?

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No, I was in a traveling show called 'Got it for Cheap' that was organized by Charlie Roberts and Chris Rexroad. That was in scandinavia and Paris and New York, and A show in Mexico City for an art consultant.

I'm not sure what the difference would be between their reactions. For me the value there is being able to create a work that will elicit a response from the viewer beyond being able to recognize me in it. I want to preserve my ability to morph, and break habits and address different ideas with different techniques.

For me personally habits and molds are incredibly hard to break, so I honestly think that's very admirable.

You mentioned you think your work has been changing in the last year. Could you describe how?

I've personally noticed more faces and characters in your painting than before. Not sure how accurate I am.

There's very little real incentive to break away from established methods. It's hard work, for one. You have to re examine the value of work that came before and you surrender the facility and familiarity you developed working a certain way. There's a bit of guilt involved too, what does that say about my work? Of course it's the only healthy way to go- you need to evolve and push boundaries in art or else you run the risk of becoming tied to a style.

The art market doesn’t benefit from having people changing their work either.

I'd say philosophy about working has changed and the change has become evident in the imagery. I think that in the process of making a painting you need to think about your entry, your time inside and your exit. Like going to a party, you want to leave before things get messy.

Haha that's a great analogy

You want the painting to be finished but not over managed.

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In the past I think I wanted to make a perfect painting. so I took meticulous care to place the color and shape just so.

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I wanted the work to be unassailable, but by micro managing the work, I was closing doors on the life of the work. That is a habit I've been trying to eradicate in myself.

So the opposite of that? For me it's been about becoming comfortable with making a work and really failing in some way being comfortable with ambitious "disasters".

I believe failure is a necessity so I can appreciate that.

To me a real dumpster fire fiasco of a piece of art will always be more interesting than a proficient sort of mediocre work.

So you would find value in the risk factor behind that dumpster fire fiasco? Haha

Yes. If something is embarrassing it's usually  because it contains a truth that we're just not comfortable with

I feel like not  many people realize that.

No one wants to make a career of humiliating themselves lol

Ha ! Very true. Miles, aside from your paintings and drawings what else is you find yourself doing?

Well, I've been playing music again recently. I used to be in a band for years and moved away from it because I wanted to work independently and focus on making art. but I've been drawn back towards the idea of collaboration again plus the endless satisfaction of playing shows and travelling has always been super seductive.

Really?? What's the name of your band? Our main focus has naturally been music here so I'm very curious.

I'll send you a few demos. We're still an untitled project but I've been advocating to perform under the name of our main songwriter who is also the singer

Looking forward to hearing it. To be honest I think I came across your work through a musician. Not really sure.

Yeah that used to be my scene, we played lots of shows on the corner in Williamsburg where Glasslands, 285 Kent and Death by audio were

Tracks are great! East beach culture club is so good

Thanks man! glad you're into it

I have  a new series of works that I've been making from this really crude and insane calendar called the carponizer. I'm going to do a piece for all 12 months. trying to re-contextualize some pretty gross imagery and make something out of it.

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Would love to see it! (I did quick search of carponizer right after the interview)

Well, I've pretty much asked everything i had in mind. Is there anything else you would like to share?

I don't think I have any more to add to what we were talking about. I have a bunch of ambitious little projects brewing and I would love to do this again in a year or two to talk about new hopefully more outrageous work. I’m glad we got to do that. it was fun!

I'm totally down! Yeah it was! Thanks again for doing this!

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