Glimmer Flyer

Reflecting One Another: On Glimmer by Milo Elliott

Words by Josue Ramirez

A glimmer, whether found in a lover’s eye or in an instance of hope, always flickers between darkness and light, between the possible and the non existing. It is only through that interconnected dance, the back and forth conversation that there can be reflection- physically and metaphorically. It is something that artist Milo Elliot explores in his solo exhibition “Glimmer” on view at Carla Hughes Studio.

The exhibit includes illustrations, paintings, sculptures and written work that demonstrate a multidisciplinary and unrestricted approach to art. The themes of connection, the celestial, the ephemeral and the eternal can be seen through the imagery prevalent in the work which includes stars, symmetric patterns, reflections, circles and spirals. 

Elliott got the idea for the name when looking at the stars twinkling back at him. “I feel like it really fits what I got going on right now,” he mentions, “On top of that, the reflection back and forth and a lot of stars just shows thinking about your connection to everything else in the world and the universe and how everything is working together.” 

Rather than portraying light or darkness as two separate things Elliott is interested in their connection and what they create when in balance. According to him darkness and lightness can be subjective, “I think a lot of things that are seen as evil in the world by some are not evil at all, it’s funny how something can be so polarized. People can see things as evil and you can talk to another person, and they can be like, “that’s not evil at all, I like that.”

The piece titled, “Falling Through” demonstrates the escape from the binary through a mesmerizing stippling illustration of a black and white starburst spiral and a colorful cosmic pattern of purple, orange and green. It makes the viewer question if they are falling in or out the rabbit hole- or if it even matters. One could get lost trying to count the dots and follow the pattern which appears on other pieces throughout the gallery, connecting them all. 

 

Interconnectedness has been something of a revelation to Elliot who describes himself as on the periphery of society as a transgender person. His lived experiences influence his art as well as the time spent reflecting on his personal connection to the world and everything and everyone, from the outside. “I feel like the more and more that I am observing other peoples stuff it’s just influencing me. I feel like a lot of artists in the Valley-,  at least in my circle we all kind of have a similar energy going on and I think it’s really beautiful and it just touches on how we are all connected again.”  

This is visible in one of his stand out triptychs, “Fluidity of Life and the Elusiveness of Shared Experience.” It includes two colored pencil illustrations on black paper and a handwritten poem on a ripped paper pad sheet. One illustration shows a symmetrical celestial pattern that interconnects and fades from reds, yellow, orange and blue. The other shows a pink five pointed star surrounded by a starburst circle and four wavy petals creating a flower shaped pattern. The poem pictured below is sandwiched in between.

“I’ve never considered myself a poet but I’ve been more involved and around poetry lately that it has inspired me and I just think that words are really powerful, so I wanted to include some of my thoughts in word form.” 

 

Elliot’s connection to his community can be seen through this inclusion of multimedia elements like the poem, the thrifted jeans as a reference to the upcycling community of the RGV (shout out Juntos Coop), and the the cartoneria and rasquache elements to his found work.  

 

He also draws creative inspiration from other Valley artists, the DIY movement and Lowrider culture. His Mirror #1 and Mirror #2 shows this through the use of paper mache and the colorful almost candy coated metallic finishes and pinstripe outlines. The organic and slightly retro feel draws one in and invites the viewer into a space of self reflection and observance. As one follows the construction and curves of the pieces, glimpses of the rest of the gallery reflect in the mirror. One can see the world up close and in the periphery at once.

Glimmer by Milo Elliott is a reflection of the artist’s experience. It is his invitation to the viewer to see themselves in his work, to consider how our image is mirrored in one another’s existence and creation. The exhibition is up until July 23rd, 2022.

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