Santa Fe artist, Gigi Mills, creates figures, landscapes, and interiors with a conscious bent towards beauty and restraint. Growing up, Mills was exposed to theatrics and storytelling as her family traveled and performed as the Mills Brothers’ Circus. She later graduated with a BFA in Theatre from the College of Santa Fe (NM) and a MA in Choreography from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. Her awareness of the demands of performance, beauty, and grace has influenced her figures as they are often self-conscious of being “on stage” or displayed as they attempt to communicate their own stories.
Mills works in oil, preferring wood panels or book boards (the heavy acid-free cardboard that is used in bookbinding) to traditional canvases. She uses the thickness of the oil to scratch, apply, remove, and dig out sections of the composition in a manner that speaks to the unique history of each painting. Mills prefers to work in series - often repainting the same scene numerous times - as an actor will read their lines night after night. Each variation is slightly different and distinct from the last, while all speaking to the common theme of the broader story.
With an extensive exhibition history throughout the US, Mills has gained respect for her subdued and complex works. She has exhibited throughout the US, as well as Italy, France and in China, where she was a visiting artist in Zhangjiajie in 2009.
“At some point we all come to sleep under the stars. We spend an inordinate amount of time trying to stave off that moment… worry, vitamins… in the end, the only thing we manage to avoid is life. In that end, I think there is no difference. The stars will always lift our gaze and cradle us. Lie down and let them wash over you.” - Gigi Mills