Jean Miele likes to explore the borderlands between fiction and reality. His personal interest in perception, spirituality and mysticism have inspired and informed his artwork since the mid-1980s. Drawing on 19th & 20th century ideals and employing both modern and ancient techniques, Miele strives to create strong, quiet photographs, intended to remind us that moments of perfection are possible – in photography, and in our lives.
Miele’s work has appeared in thousands of publications, including recent articles in “Fotografi,” Norway’s premiere photo magazine, and “Spot,” the Houston Center for Photography’s journal. His prints have been exhibited internationally and acquired by collectors worldwide. Solo shows include “The Vintage Series: Scientific Inquiries;” “Classical Landscape Photography and the Digital Darkroom”; “Seeing Is Believing”; and “Vestiges of Industry.”
Based in New York City, Miele’s work encompasses exhibitions, commissioned work for clients, and a busy teaching schedule of workshops and seminars that demystify digital technique and empower students to realize their own photographic vision.
“The Vintage Series: Scientific Inquiries” is a portfolio of photomontages relating to the history of science, mysticism, theology, cartography, cosmology and photography. The work explores the idea that these are intertwined disciplines, and all arise from the fundamental human need to ask: “Who are we, and what is our place in the universe?”
To that end, the deliberately small scale of these images, deceptively ambiguous navigational aids, and barely legible text reflect the way answers to the questions that are most important to us are always just slightly beyond our grasp. No matter how advanced the methods or technology we bring to bear, “facts,” scientific and otherwise, inevitably change over time. Ironically, counterintuitively, the seeming outward precision of these images hides an underlying, and perhaps greater, exploratory – or divinational – function. Defining the seen, the known, the possible, implies a line of demarcation. By delineating terra firma, we provide access to terra incognita.
The ICELAND work:
I had always heard Iceland was the land of Fire and Ice. What took me by surprise was the wind – and the waves. The south wind and the ocean both travel for more than 4000 miles uninterrupted between Antarctica and the southern coast of Iceland. They make landfall with breathtaking, almost ferocious intensity in and around the little town of Vik i Mýrdal. At 6°.25N 19°1’W, Vik is very nearly Iceland’s southernmost point. Windswept and starkly beautiful, southern Iceland is steeped in history and inhabited by Spirits of Place. It’s special. Iceland made me feel calm, and connected to All There Is. I spent a few unforgettable days there in May 2009, early spring, visiting the home of giants, where the elemental forces that shape the world live.