Myles Carter is an American painter and graffiti artist whose work has evolved over the years to reflect his interest in the intersection of art, philosophy, and social commentary. Myles Carter was born in New York City in 1965 and grew up in an environment that supported creativity on Manhattan’s Upper West Side—his father, Ron, was a prominent jazz bassist, and his mother, a Harlem studio museum long-term trustee.
To get into Junior High School 104 on East 21st Street, Miles had to submit a portfolio and take a test after attending Bank Street School. The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts comes after that. In addition, he “painted nudes and still lifes” at the Art Students League. He says of this background, “That’s my artistic roots. I also write graffiti in addition to all these formal art classes. When he was young, he rode the metro and was exposed to graffiti for the first time.
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Under the pseudonym Metro, he collaborated with crews like the Rolling Thunder Writers (RTW) in the late 1970s and 1980s, who were recognized for their innovative use of a wide variety of paint brands. Because “there is a lot of math in my art,” as the artist himself puts it, his label Metro has morphed into MEO – Mathematical Equation Of.
Before making the switch from spray cans to paintbrushes, Miles moved to Paris in the late 1980s, when he was in his early 20s, to widen his artistic horizons and increase his consciousness. As a result of his seemingly spontaneous and aggressive technique, in which he focuses less on figures or images and more on actual brushstrokes and usage of the canvas, Miles Carter’s paintings exude dynamic, high-energy, and dramatic effects.
Their recent works of his blend calligraphic movements with fluid compositional organization, and his output as a whole includes key pieces like the Mail Bag series he developed while living in France in the 1980s. Carter’s work, which is sometimes laden with symbolism, represents the numerous formal and inherited perceptions that evolved from the social interventions of graffiti, which bloomed in a spectacular fashion in the 1970s and 1980s on the streets and subways of New York City.
Myles Carter’s work has been shown in a wide variety of shows both at home and abroad. His paintings can be seen in a number of international museums and private collections.