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Matt Miley

Published November 15, 2016
matt miley

Matt Miley demonstrating the lines in his work as neuronsArtist Statement

In a transparent landscape, perhaps in the landscape of one’s self, my work depicts uncertainty through images of humans and animals in a state of becoming or becoming undone. The lines may coalesce or fray, confine or release. Like a nest of neurons, the lines provide paths for activity; leading one’s eyes through the artwork and forcing themselves into one’s body. The lines visually and conceptually pulse to simulate a transformation of consciousness that is occurring in the forms represented.

These anthropomorphic and zoomorphic ideals materialize into a landscape in which transparent figures are interacting in a combined, encompassing manifold. They pull, uproot, and hide the fragmented and systemic features to reveal intricate and repetitive systems that surround and penetrate the bodies.

Q & A

What have you been doing since graduating FSU?

After FSU, I spent some years in New York City then moved to Sweden for love. My wife is from Stockholm, and without question I’ll consider it our home for a long time to come. Those years in New York, I was riding a wave of adrenaline from making art, exhibiting, working, exploring the city, and enjoying the struggle. I kept in close contact with former colleagues from FSU, who live in the Northeast, by exhibiting together and working on various projects. I also made many new connections and genuine friends. Recently, I secured a great position as a graphic designer for a software company, RaySearch Laboratories, that is actually advancing cancer treatment. It is immensely fulfilling to know that your work is making a real difference in the world. I continue to be active in the art scene in Stockholm with Galleri Duerr as my representative. I had my first solo exhibit this year with them and I have been so impressed by the genuine loyalty and interest in my art.

What did you learn at FSU to get you there?

I gained a few very close friends from our MFA program and learned a hell of a lot from them. It was so valuable to take your time in the studio to discuss art, film, and philosophy with people you truly admire. I learned how to “talk the talk” but I also learned professionalism and a relentless passion about studio art.

What advice would you give to art students?

Get ready because there is a lot to say here. To start, always have your finances in order, even when you don’t have much money. Student loans can grow fast and keep you struggling for those first few precious years after school so be careful with that and don’t take out any if you can help it! Also, find out what exactly makes you happy within the wide world of art. The fine art world is not built with institutions that support artists to make art “full-time,” so you have to make other career path choices to support your first passion. For me, I made the decision to live in specific cities, so that narrowed down the playing field. As a graphic designer, I quickly learned that there are people in that realm who are stone serious and passionate with their craft. You can’t fake it! People sense your dedication either way. I made another decision to compartmentalize that part of my life and manufacture enough interest to develop that craft and find interest in that work. Ultimately, be relentless and systematic about your search for art representation, and enjoy the process of making art and professional development.