For over 25 years, Miles Slater has been tutored, mentored, and guided by master marble artisiani from the Renaissance town of Pietrasanta in Western Tuscany. Pietrasanta sits nestled in the foothills of the Apuana mountain range, only a stone’s throw away from the spectacular and historic quarries of Carrara where the Medici wielded their commercial power in the late 1400’s and where Michelangelo sourced the marble for his greatest works.
It was Slaters creation of Rescue, his iconic sculpture of the fireman carrying a child from the rubble of the bombed Alfred E Murrah building in Oklahoma City, that brought Miles to Pietrasanta.
Miles early works were influenced by the figurative sculptures that surrounded him in the Palla and Barsanti studios where he created his marble sculptures and the Fonderia Massimo del Chiaro where he created models for his bronze castings. Models and life-sized reproductions in marble of the greatest sculptures of the millennia accompanied and encouraged him everyday. The study of human form set the foundation for his metamorphosis into a more abstract representational and abstract works.
Until recently, almost all of his works have benefitted philanthropic organizations- many through sculptural works designed specifically for or through the sale proceeds directed to the specific organization.
Miles sculptures reside in homes, religious and civil organizations, and hospitals throughout the world. Miles combines the skills he learned from the masters with the best materials- particularly Bardiglio Marble- to create his unique works.
In Slater's words, "Defining the Sculptor. . . Many of the words I would use to describe sculpting in stone are words that one would associate with describing the attributes of a person. How can that be? How can an inanimate piece of marble ever be compared to human characteristics? Working with marble is unforgiving, the slightest mistake can cause permanent and irreparable damage, but if you respect the marble it will reward you, at times beyond ones greatest expectations! Leo Mutti, the Artisan that nurtured me when I sculpted “Rescue”, the work I created as a memorial to the Oklahoma City Bombing, compared carving stone with the rearing of a child. He would say “be respectful as to how you strike the stone, the angle must be right and the power of the hammer and chisel must by in sync. If you don’t show that respect as you work deeper into the marble you could find a fissure, a bruise or an irreparable crack. It is like raising a child, if you aren’t sensitive, respectful, but forceful the damage will only appear years later…” What could be more powerful?
I am physical and tactile person. Marble, as my chosen medium is a perfect partner for all my physical and emotional senses. There are many ways to approach a work- it is not “just in the stone”, as Michelangelo was quoted as saying. The stone might dictate what one can and cannot do but the emotion, the vision comes from the sculptor. I experienced this phenomena as my style change from realistic to abstract representational and most recently to abstract. But even with this seemingly changed style, my works are similar- the observer wants to reach out and touch.
Now, in 2016, I have created a series of works, predominately in a “bardiglio marmot” a grey-black marble that when finished can take the characteristics of stainless steel. The stone absorbs the light!!!
Please enjoy my Greek inspired series of Oculi, Spiritus and Helix in this marvelous stone and one piece for certain pleasure in granite."