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Wardell Milan | The Balcony

Wardell Milan, The Priest. The Shooter. The Flag., 2019, from the portfolio The Balcony

Wardell Milan’s first collaboration with BORCH Editions resulted in a portfolio of eight etchings entitled The Balcony.

In The Balcony Milan explores the absurdity of politics, social and political structures, power dynamics and spectatorship and how these forces effect one’s personal existence. The portfolio’s title is an allusion to the relationship between performer and spectator in a theatre setting. Milan imagines the viewers observing the action ‘as if they are sitting above in a balcony watching the melodrama unfold before them.’ In his work the human bodies themselves become stages on which questions of gender, race, sexuality and power are being negotiated.

Milan spent the first days in the studio working on preliminary drawings, using images from newspapers or magazines as references for the compositions he would later execute on copper plates. He then transferred these drawings into line etchings while simultaneously experimenting with other intaglio printing techniques which he then incorporated into his etchings. The result is a suite of prints executed in a range of grey tones, pattern and line work, employing time-honoured printmaking techniques to create decidedly contemporary, politically charged visual narratives.

Wardell Milan’s artistic practice includes large-scale figurative drawing, painting, photography and collage. He uses material from a wide variety of sources such as magazines, illustrated books, historical artworks or family snapshots. His themes oscillate between reflections on current world events and meditations on his own personal experiences, inquiring topics like gender performance, identity and body modification as well as social and political structures.

Wardell Milan (1977) lives and works in New York.

Learn more about Wardell Milan