Copper in the Arts

October 2017

Gino Miles: Exploring the Spaces in Between

By Robyn Jasko

In 2016, visitors to the Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College experienced a majestic welcome when the museum installed a large scale bronze work by artist Gino Miles at their entrance. Little did the sculptor know this would lead to his own retrospective exhibition just a year later. Bound Ascension: The Sculpture of Gino Miles, which features several of his large scale bronze and metal sculptures, is currently on view through Jan. 14 in the museum’s courtyard.

Gino Miles, Shelter, Hand-cut and welded bronze, 16'x8'x8', Image courtesy of Long Sharp Gallery.Gino Miles, Shelter, Hand-cut and welded bronze, 16'x8'x8'.

Image courtesy of Long Sharp Gallery.

When installing the show, some pieces were so large that special arrangements had to be made to place them within the exhibit. The tallest piece, titled Shelter, measures weighs more than 1 ton, and required a crane to lift the 16-foot structure over the museum walls and into the Sculpture Courtyard.

But, the Colorado-native wouldn’t have it any other way. He is consistently drawn to larger than life sculptures that interact--and sometimes take over---their environment.

“Presenting such mass in motion with seemingly effortless fluidity invites a challenge to the viewer’s perception of the sculpture,” remarks Miles. “My work focuses on elegant minimalism and cleanliness of line and shape, creating a timeless aesthetic.  Inspired by the meandering and knotting of morning glory vines, I am fascinated by nature’s ability to weave itself so exquisitely into a knot—a historic symbol of unity and connection.”

Art has always guided Miles’ life. After earning his master’s degree in sculpture from the University of Northern Colorado in 1979, he moved to Florence and helped found Italart, a school for American and German students in the Chianti region. While experimenting and developing his own signature style over the year, he also taught design and sculpture classes. After moving back to the states, he and his wife opened a gallery called Sculpture 619 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where they currently reside.

Today, he continues to stretch the spacial designs of his sculptural work, choosing mainly metals like bronze to twist and turn into large-scale outdoor sculpture designed to bend your mind’s eye as you see them interact with their environment, always pushing the limits of perception.

“Exploring the relationship between organic design and inorganic materials has led me to a strong conceptual balance of how things grow, bond together, and respond to their neighboring environment.  I often choose materials which can reflect, absorb, or blend with their surroundings.”

Miles’ works primarily in fabricated stainless steel and bronze, choosing a curvilinear aesthetic that often appears weightless as the lines spin throughout nature. Many of his pieces have the ability to be kinetically turned or spun so viewers can experience the work from several vantage points.

His passion for sculpture continues to be fluid and steady, much like his work.

“Even after more than forty years of sculpting, I still have an unquenchable thirst for creating sculpture, the urge to challenge boundaries and conventions, and a desire to inspire viewers for generations to come,” he reflects.

Resources:

Gino Miles, Santa Fe, NM

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