ARTIST STATEMENT: Through metal and clay, Shayla Milan creates work that is steeped in honesty, the beauty, in the imperfections, each piece showing the hand of the artist. Her aesthetic is informed by her interest in the philosophies of modernism and wabi sabi, as well as architectural elements, and primitive artifacts.
Part of Milan’s self discovery is informed through continued research into her family’s DNA, her grandmother’s origins in Barbados, and even further back to Africa. She is always eager to absorb information regarding ancestral life, traditions, daily artifacts, and anything used to adorn the body and the home/community. “With the connection to the past, I am focused on the woman of then and now. The constant, is strength and fragility, seemingly opposing forces, yet femininely complimentary and necessary. My work is a representation of these two characteristics.”
Her large scale sculptural and mixed media work is a natural evolution from her work with jewelry and ceramics.
Shayla Cox Milan is an American artist/designer, born and raised in Ohio. There she studied fine and performing arts from a very young age. She attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, as well as the sister school, Polimoda in Florence, Italy. For the past 11 years she has worked to create in store environments for American designers Donna Karan and Ralph Lauren. She collaborated with Donna Karan’s Urban Zen store to create a capsule art jewelry collection, and her pieces have also been sold through Sincerely, Tommy, Warm NY and FIVESTORY. She has presented her work at the Shot Tower Gallery in Columbus, OH and The Front Room Gallery in Brooklyn, NY and a guerilla fashion installation during NYFW. She has been featured in Essence, Glamour, NY Post, several blogs and most recently Hannah Magazine. She currently resides in Brooklyn with her husband Sterling, and their son Sage.