Miles Regis “Better Days Ahead”
Von Lintel Gallery, Los Angeles
Through March 5, 2022
Written by Eve Wood
Nearing the end of his life, the writer James Baldwin asked an urgent and necessary question, “What is it you want me to reconcile myself to. . .You always told me it takes time. You have taken my father’s time, my mother’s time, my uncle’s time, my brothers’ and my sisters’ time, my nieces’ and my nephews’ time. How much time do you want for your ‘progress’?” Years later, the Black Lives Matter movement continues to bring many deeply entrenched human shortcomings into sharp focus, and we now understand that bigotry and misogyny are alive and well in the world, and Baldwin’s question seems all the more relevant today.
Miles Regis’ recent exhibition, aptly titled “Better Days Ahead,” stands as a visual testament to Baldwin’s prescient concerns. Works like “Be Careful,” utilize both text and imagery to create an image of both chaos and personal redemption as the figure at the forefront of the image stands amid a flurry of textual warnings that include, “Don’t Be the Stereotype,” and “Everybody is Watching.” This painting in particular is reminiscent of many of Jean Michel Basquiat’s works in which a young black figure stands in opposition to the brutality and chaos of the modern world. The image, which might appear overtly political, is actually highly personalized as these sentiments could apply to a more universal human condition.
Finally, Regis’ paintings insist on acceptance, tolerance and love, each work forged in the furnace of personal observation and a deeply felt commitment to the black experience as vital and necessary. After all, despite our political views and the color of our skin, we are all connected and because of those intrinsic connections, we are all responsible for each other.
Von Lintel Gallery
2525 Michigan Ave.
Santa Monica, CA