Miles Jaffe

That some of my work is displayed upside down is simply a reflection of my world view. Art – long before the capital ‘A’ Art of the Renaissance – has been driven not by creative vision but by commerce and as such is a near-perfect reflection of society. I blame Warhol (“Art is what you can get away with.”) although he clearly wasn’t the first. Andy just took the anti-art of Dada to The Factory floor. Some find notoriety by being the first to exploit some tiny previously unexplored niche, some find it by being outrageous in some way. Others capitalize on marketing – for which the outrageous is a perfect vehicle. I do not consider this to be either art or success.

This becomes my point of departure. My work contemplates the relationship between artist, medium and product – and thus the very nature of art itself. It is a parody of parodies, which of course makes it a tribute as well, with no small irony.

Some of my earliest memories are of taking things apart, usually in such a way that they could not be put back together again. How things are put together – how they work – was a secret that I had to unravel. As Arthur C. Clark said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” I wanted to learn the secret. 

Trying to discover how things work was eventually followed by trying to find out why things work – including human and social factors like behavior and economics. Using the rigorous analytical methods of my industrial design training I tried to figure out why things don’t work. As such I’ve been called cynical, but only by those who lack the power of accurate observation. I prefer to think of myself as a skeptical optimist.

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