Douglas MilesVon: Phoenix, Arizona Age: 53
Douglas Miles is an Akimel O’odham /Apache artist living on the San Carlos reservation in eastern Arizona. Melding a graphic-cum-graffiti sensibility, Miles’s timely cultural aesthetic captures the spontaneity of urbanity, much like the esoteric works of Jean Michel Basquiat, whose New York City poetic street tags under his pseudonym (SAMO) and Haitian-inspired iconography broke new ground in the contemporary art scene of the 1980s. Miles’s work can be compared also to the profundity of England’s Bansky, whose recent strategically-placed international tagging interventions heighten our collective contemporary consciousness through satirical, political and social commentaries on war, poverty, violence and modernity. Miles completes this trinity of street-inspired artists by confronting us with his own savvy, hard-ass and hard-hitting cultural stance that is not only unconventional—challenging, unsettling and raw in its positioning—but also seductive and visually luring through his reuse and re-contextualization of Native American subject matter and historical imagery.