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Rene Miville to show at Fort Myers HOWL Gallery

By Staff | Dec 23, 2009

Captiva resident and acclaimed mixed media artist and photographer Rene Miville will be the subject of a solo exhibition at the HOWL Gallery in downtown Fort Myers.

HOWL Gallery will be featuring several of Miville’s 4 by 9 foot framed originals, in addition to giclee prints and affordable limited edition posters.

An opening reception will be held during the Downtown Fort Myers Art Walk on Jan. 1, 2010, including a chance to meet the artist from 6 to 10 p.m. and light refreshments and live music from 8 to 10 p.m. on the HOWL Gallery back patio. Miville’s show will run until Feb. 3.

“It will be great to interact with the downtown Fort Myers art scene which is a very unique and very vital art scene. The art scene has really been the driving force for keeping downtown alive for the past couple of years,” Miville said.

The show marks the return to the world of fine art for the celebrated artist and former Vogue photographer, as he has not shown his fine art photography in more than 10 years.

During the 1980s and 1990s, Miville exhibited his large scale 4 by 9 foot photographs at numerous museums and galleries across the country, including The Museum of Art in Boca Raton, The LA County Art Museum and The Ludwig Museum in Cologne, Germany.

His subject matter encompasses everything from elderly ballroom dancers and snake handlers to Florida nudist colonies and hard rock shows, and Miville pioneered a method of developing his large scale photographs by physically painting and splashing developer and stop chemicals onto huge blocks of paper.

Miville says his intention is to capture the deeper reality of each moment – and in doing so, he brings his own sometimes humorous and often cutting point of view across to his audience.

“The images themselves are from a body of work at a time when I would photograph very exciting social situations that you just can’t stage. I captured a moment in history. Adding the chemicals adds my reality onto that reality. The beauty of it is that nobody can ever say it’s tacky or decorative, because it’s very real. It stands the test of time,” Miville said.

In addition to his international art shows and reviews in major art publications, Miville was also the subject of a PBS documentary filmed in 1992 that was aired extensively in the 1990s and early 2000s entitled, “Master Manipulator: Avant Garde Photographer Rene Miville.”

“It’s nice to know that the energy and appreciation is still there. Art never dies. People still know me as the artist and not as the community activist or investment entrepreneur. It just shows the power of art. Making art is the greatest thing in the world – except for raising my kids,” Miville said.

Miville was also an early supporter of HOWL Gallery and became closely involved with the gallery during the first Art Walk in 2008.

His work embodies the spirit and broad range of ideals similarly held by HOWL Gallery and, with his fashion photography for Vogue Italy, his work with bands like Death, Fugazzi and Pantera and his museum and gallery shows, Miville’s work magnifies the intricacies of the common human experience.

Miville is also responsible for creating an art competition showcasing vinyl records, premiering at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in April.

HOWL Gallery is a hybrid art gallery that features work from local and national contemporary artists, including elements of pop culture such as graphic novels, designer art toys and a custom tattoo studio.

You can learn more about HOWL Gallery by visiting www.howlgallery.com.

The gallery is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday by appointment only.

HOWL Gallery is located at 1514 Broadway, #101 in Downtown Fort Myers.

(Press release contributed to this story)