Art Critics

Sweet follies…

Ludovic Duhamel and Gilles Naudin, MIFAC awards ceremony at the Critical Figuration show in 2019
Ludovic Duhamel and Gilles Naudin

For those who know how to use it wisely, fantasy is a weapon of massive jubilation, capable of twisting the thickest armor with laughter, piercing the surrounding walls usually closed to any wider view, annihilating any kind of withdrawal. However, it must be used sparingly because if it is used improperly, its power eventually dulls. For a better efficiency, it is good to associate it with the simple poetry of everyday life, judicious to give the illusion of the probable for a few fleeting seconds, just before lighting the small spark of madness which will set fire to the powders of imagination. Milo Dias has a perfect mastery of these techniques, associating the fantasy of a constantly renewed look with the real world. And it just hits. We are moved, we smile, we have fun at the vision of his iconoclastic sculptures and without other claim than that of offering us a small breath snatched from too serious world.

— Article in the Mirror of Art N ° 99 (2019)

Milo Dias’ clenched fists.

Yak Rivais, writer, painter, art critic
Yak Rivais

“With all power his caricature and his carnival” (Michel Leiris).

In the beginning were Daumier and his parliamentarians, and the grimaciers of Messerschmitt. At the beginning, because in the work of Milo Dias, if the trigger is indeed satire and derision by the play of an obsessively renewed caricature, it is advisable to locate two times: a first era, here exposed, at the search for the real lost or in danger of being lost, and a second era (unexposed) supported by the imagination and the use of intermediate waste, the driving force of “outsider art. “

“Every man is responsible for his mouth,” said Jean-Paul Sartre. The expressions of Milo Dias’ heads owe to the “objective chance” of the surrealists the appearance of the physical truth of the characters, between pain and mockery, as if it were a question of unmasking them by the emergence of the mask.

In 1989, Milo Dias saw his father die of lightning cancer: he clenched his fists of anger and helplessness in the face of exploding suffering. He clenches his fists with the clay inside, which he crushes, mistreats, mixes, organizes and sums up human beings reduced to mimics. Unsympathetic, unhappy people (“Men die and they are not happy” asserted Caligula by Albert Camus), squeaky in defense, “as a way of setting limits to what is detestable in the human nature, “says Milo Dias. Louis-Ferdinand Céline summed it up differently: “Everyone cries time in their own way”.

 Preface to the catalog “MILO DIAS, Figurative Sculptures” (2018)

Milo Dias, or the thousand and one days of creation

art critic Christian Noorbergen
Christian Noorbergen

A cheerful shaman reigning over the countries enlightened by great reverie, Milo Dias completely ignores the spirit of system. Her playful and plastic discoveries, by grace and magic, get oxygenated over time and places. They are irrecoverable, irreverent, folded and scouring. His art is nomadic, adventurous, witchcraft, rustic, and superbly unrealistic. Close to primary crops.

To a fabricated world, it responds with salvos of joyfully transgressive, funny and very festive useless organization. To the continent weighed down by the Western intellect, it opposes, casually, in all humility, and in all amazement, its islets of formidable irrationality. This grotesque nicely-dressed man will laugh at seriousness until the end of time.

Against the current, against the invention, Milo Dias’ creature-creatures, between short life and crazy health, are mouthwatering to the artistic establishment. Art lives on these hot embers.

See the entire article in the catalog preface
“Milo Dias, Animal delirium” (2018)

About Funny Birds exhibition at the SEMA (Paris)

Article by Yak Rivais about the exhibition "Funny birds" at SEMA
Yak Rivais

Three boxes. Official art / Art on classic supports / Art on new supports. And a “raccoon” tote called “outsider art”. Alibi of an expression from nothing, without “history” or “culture”, apt to interest without intermediary. A “virgin” art for “virgin” fans. Milo Dias, caricaturist ceramist, turns to nature. He recovers driftwood, roots. He makes them birds. Is he thinking of Chaval (“Birds are idiots”), Cesar (on roller skates), Quentin Garel and his monumental beaks?

It is, through legitimate derision, the ephemeral that he tracks down in worn-out wrecks. Between fascination with volumes capable of unbalancing certainties, and temptation to give meaning to the risk of weakening the incipit, Milo Dias negotiates. Putting in order would require the consummate logic of art, would open a false exit door. Anecdote should be avoided. The “funny birds” are first sculptures and dream machines.

Some are in bronze. Awareness of the fragility of the works? Will to mandate the potential of meditation in a noble material? By play of confrontation, as one strikes two flints, the spark is released. “To paint a portrait of a bird”, Milo Dias applies Prévert’s recipe, without the need for a cage: just close your eyes. “I think you will find it difficult to recognize me,” wrote Erik Satie to a friend: “I let my eyelids grow.”

Notes et contre-notes sur Milo Dias, pétrisseur de têtes…

Denis Donikian, writer and visual artist
Denis Donikian

Grimacing humanity! Milo Dias took the side of a realistic expressionism against the advanced modes of abstraction. The more those ones take us away from the human figure, the more the sculptor insists on bringing to light the human, nothing but the human. A classic primitive.

Only he is interested in the way of sculpting which has been the longest practiced over the centuries. With the hand and with the clay. His art owes nothing to modern materials, his artistic act is at the crossroads of man and the earthly flesh that surrounds him everywhere. The rest is a matter of observation…

See the article on Denis Donikian’s website

APART Gallery Exhibition in 1995

Françoise Icart
Françoise Icart

The terra cotta of Milo Dias are inspired, as if the material came to life, twisted, sneered into caricatures striking truth, fascinating, funny, heart touching or suave of feminine sweetness … It’s a story, a funny tale told by madmen , where some weeping and sensual Iphigenia pass, like dreamed flowers, a story that means nothing but our dear humanity.

Critical Figuration Exhibition of 2005

Main advantage of this sculptor champion of the recovery of all materials: a humor to any test, not devoid of tenderness on a humanity somewhat derisory. “The triumphant” triumphs, from the top of his super machine and takes with his closed eyes, a conquering look at his fictitious territory. An enlightened interpretation of human nature.

Art Crafts Magazine (2007)

Funny birds, Society for the encouragement of artistic professions (S.E.M.A.)
SEMA exhibition poster

Sandstone, wood, metal, polyester, whatever the material, the sculptor has always excelled in capturing expressions. A few years ago he started to work, like a Daumier, on human faces. Tics, grimaces and other fakes adorn his heads which gradually find themselves equipped with legs, then various accessories, carts, and other artefacts, which the artist realizes from recovery materials.

Recently, he wanted to accompany these characters with animals. In the end, the animals alone ended up conquering the front of the stage. And, by a natural transposition, of the human, they keep the faces in turn, bewildered, smiling or curious. A wide range of emotions can be found in the physiognomy of its funny wooden critters: be they birds from elsewhere, or chickens, donkeys and insects.

They all have in common a certain humanity which the artist explains thus: “The animals share with us the same aspirations, the same games of seduction, the same vital constraints, and finally the same galleys … The whole creation is made of an excess that we can never taste enough intoxication! So, if it’s a question of laughing at this tragicomic condition, why not force the line. The earth is a huge aviary where a series of funny birds meet and look at each other… “.