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Art & Life with Mikey Foster Estes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mikey Foster Estes.

Mikey, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I think that one of the most foundational aspects of my practice can be traced back to age ten. It was 2001, I was obsessed with MTV, and I wanted to be a star. My brother is a musician, so we had music software like Fruity Loops and Cakewalk on the family computer. In my leisure time, I would generate simple looping beats, record vocal tracks, and plan out my debut album. Using the contact information found on the backside of the CDs in my collection, I sent demos to record labels that included Virgin Records, Sony Music, and EMI Canada. Sadly, I never got signed. I think that the art I make now operates under the same methodology.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I make art that refers to how the self is mediated through structures, objects, and images. I typically work with time-based media, such as video, audio, performance, or text, and often produce work within the parameters of everyday life. As such, the work often has an autobiographical flavor to it, regardless of whether or not a narrative is present. I am very interested in slowness, especially in thinking about the current speed at which we consume images and exchange information. In that sense, the work that I make may be best understood as a romanticization of the quotidian.

Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
Being an artist isn’t just about holing up in the studio and making work. Some of the best advice that I got during graduate school was to stop trying to force the work to happen and to instead read literature, watch films, learn more about art history, go out into the world and see things, etc. I think that doing that from time to time really frees up my approach and ultimately makes the work better. The studio isn’t just a place for making, but for thinking, as well.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My work was presented most recently at Fine Art Complex 1101 in Tempe as part of “PHX ART NOW II,” a survey exhibition of contemporary art in Phoenix. “Private Rainbows,” the video that was in the exhibition, is a silent slideshow of images of rainbows found and made in an apartment I lived in during graduate school. I also performed a reading of a short text that accompanies the work at the closing reception. I just recently returned to Arizona and joined Eye Lounge on Roosevelt Row, so my work can be seen there at some point in the near future.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Portrait Image: Carlos Rigau

Work Samples: Courtesy of the artist

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