Erin Milez (b. 1994) grew up in Chicago and has split her adult years between Seattle and New York City. She earned her BA in Studio Art from Seattle Pacific University and her MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 2021. She currently lives and works in Bayonne, NJ with her husband and daughter.
From the claustrophobic discord of quarantine to the overwhelming joy of creating new life, the couples in Milez’s work are living through experiences from her own life and filtered through a language of dance. Inspired by the duet partners in George Balanchine’s 1957 ballet Agon, Milez saw dancers who worked through conflict and learned from the other’s body. They were partners dedicated to each other and their task of creating together and supporting each other—much like a couple who has moved in together and is dedicated to their task of making a home together and loving one another, operating with conflict and love. The couples in Milez’s paintings are workers, wrapping around each other with thick limbs and rubberized joints, contorting into and away from each other. Their work argues for the significance of everyday life and that the menial tasks required by it are not mundane but a tether to creation.
"Two Merge At the Door's Way (Janus Portrait Inverted" 2022. Oil and Acrylic on panel 24x18in
"The Watchers Are Lost in Time" 2022. Oil and Acrylic on canvas 40x30in