Apache Artist Douglas Miles at Art For Rights
Apache artist Douglas Miles who is painting one of the 12 murals for Art For Rights on Dec 12th in New Orleans, LA, is a San Carlos Apache-Akimel O’odham painter, printmaker, muralist, and photographer from Arizona. Art For Amnesty interviewed D Miles for you.
What are the main subjects you deal with within your practice?
Native American (Apache) subject matter will always be important to me. Written history of this country seems to have omitted the battle for independence my tribes fought for. Much of my work is a reflection of the unheard and unseen reality of Apache and tribal history in America.
Are there topics you are uncomfortable dealing with in your work? If so, why?
I don’t deal with the topic of death or hopelessness enough. I would rather deal with building solutions than the problematic systematic forces that we face daily. At the same time I do not deny hard issues, but acknowledge that we need to strive to inspire, encourage and out-think oppression and its oppressors.
What are your goals as an artist? What drives you?
I hope to inspire people to know that their voice counts no matter where they are from. The art of tribal people/ people of color is probably the most powerful weapon we possess in our “survival arsenal.”
What inspired you to express your art through murals?
Graffiti art has always inspired me as a purely “tribal” art form. It speaks to various communities immediately. My murals are an extension of that graffiti and street art sensibility which turns any alley or wall into a world class museum or canvas.
Tell us about the mural you’ll be painting during Art For Rights.
The power of art, the written word, and social media can not be underestimated. Power hungry systems want to silence critics of its own brand of systemic oppression. I plan to address what this looks like in my mural.
If there was one thing you could fix in this world what would it be?
I would like to see artists of color/ tribal people have more access to be able to tell more stories via art, films, literature, and music about the beautiful tapestry of our tumultuous times. Good stories can build bridges of understanding between cultures .