Today’s OBT is about the public art of Stormie Mills, who, in spite of his name, is not a character from 50 Shades of Gray.
I learned of the artist thanks to fellow blogger, Sanpiano. I love the figures Mills paints. They have a kind of Terry Gilliam/Where the Wild Things Are vibe. In spite of his obvious talent, he was not appreciated as a young artist. Among other false starts, he reports failing his grammar school art class. It seems that was likely because his style was a bit too advanced for his poor teachers. His main themes of isolation and alienation, while no doubt disturbing in a child, are lauded now that he’s grown into his art, which he creates using dirt(!) and spray paint. He was inspired to exorcise his demons in the form of street art after a trip to New York City:
“When I went to New York in 1986 to meet my parents and brother Oliver, I met a bunch of guys that were subway painters and I saw the work of Jenny Holzer and John Fekner. These people were the godfathers of street art. They had a movement, and I was so impressed by them that it certainly changed the way I was thinking and steered my work into another direction.”
Whatever the inspiration, I’m very glad he does what he does.