April 20, 2014

A decade of Douglas Miles

Another article by me:

An Unquiet Indian: 10 Years of Decks, Guns and Geronimo With Douglas Miles

By Rob SchmidtDouglas Miles, the founder of Apache Skateboards from the San Carlos reservation in Arizona, didn’t set out to be a professional artist. In fact, he started in social work.

“I’ve been making art ever since I can remember,” he says—around 25 years. But professionally, he spent his first 10 or 15 years in the social field.
About his Apache X retrospective:The reactions have been positive, says Miles. The people who supported Apache Skateboards at the beginning continue to support it. Only one criticism has been a constant. “I like the art, they’ll say, but I don’t like the gun imagery. It kind of throws people off.”

He doesn’t apologize for that, and people aren’t saying it as much anymore. They got used to it, he explains, or they see “it’s part of the story.” That is, the story of Apache Skateboards, American history, and the history of the Apache people. “It’s not something that I’m trying to sugar-coat or whitewash.”
Comment:  For more on the subject, see The Artist Who Plays Lozen and Apacheria: The Art of Douglas Miles.

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