Bay Of Plenty Artist Alex Miln Shortlisted For 2022 Miles Art Awards

Papamoa-based award-winning artist Alex Miln has been shortlisted as a finalist for the prestigious The Miles Art Awards 2022 for his artwork ‘Bel Air’, a metaphor for the ‘American Dream’.

This biennial event and exhibition at the Tauranga Art Gallery is an opportunity for artists from the Bay of Plenty to submit their most accomplished works for this premier art prize.

Alex is renowned for his intricate and provocative 3D sculptural works of art, many of which take over 1,000 hours to complete, and which combine a clever play on form, function and medium with a touch of satire, ensuring that they capture attention while being truly unique. Each piece of art Alex creates is crafted from plywood and aluminum, which he then paints using up to 13 coats of paint to create the illusion of an aged patina.

“Bel Air” by Alex Miln

Alex explains, “American popular culture (and the dominant myths that go with it) has seeped into New Zealand. We are told of the many benefits, but are we told the full story? “Bel Air” is an investigation into myth and a discovery of substance and evidence – a hunt for complete history. Often an inconvenient truth that we want to ignore. I want to shine a light where others prefer shadow.

Subjects that feature heavily in all of Alex’s works, which he classifies as “signtology,” include politics, religion, and his view of Americana. From poking fun at Donald Trump’s shady dealings with Russia and his affair with adult actress Stormy Daniels, to the detriment of big business and religious zeal, to the global financial crisis and Covid, nothing is prohibited. Common subjects depicted in his retro-inspired works include American restaurants and motels (all with exotic names in the most unlikely places), automotive references (in their faded, rusty glory), and churches (the estates most more conservative).

Alex isn’t shy about ruffling some feathers and it looks like he’s actively encouraging it. Alex said: “Good art should elicit a reaction. If the artist does his job well, people will either love him or hate him. If people aren’t here or there, and they don’t talk about it, then the work must be poor.

The awards ceremony will take place at the Tauranga Art Gallery (108 Willow Street, Tauranga, 3141) on Thursday, February 3, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. The winners will be determined by a single judge with the assistance of a representative from the Tauranga Art Gallery. The finalists’ work will be featured in a curated exhibition (February 4 to May 15, 2022), with up to 40 works chosen to form the exhibition.


To download a selection of images, visit:

drop box

To see a selection of other works by Alex, check out the images in the Dropbox link above or visit To purchase any of Alex’s works, contact Dylan Potocki at the Potocki Paterson Art Gallery in Wellington: 022-694-3009.

Follow Alex on social media:

Instagram: alexmiln_art


Biography of the artist

Recent Art Awards

2021 – Molly Morepth Canaday Art Award Finalist

2018 – Finalist at the Wallace Art Awards

2017 – Molly Morepeth Canaday Art Award Finalist

2017 – Finalist at the Wallace Art Awards

2016 – Double Finalist at the National Contemporary Art Awards

2016 – Miles Art Award Supreme Winner

2015 – Finalist at the Wallace Art Awards

Public collections

“Authentic Miles”, Tauranga Art Gallery

“Sermon on the Razor’s Edge”, Wallace Arts Trust

“Second Amendment”, Wallace Arts Trust

Individual and collective exhibitions

2020 – Group exhibition “Supa Cuba Dupa”, Potocki Paterson Gallery, Wellington

2019 – No Vital Signs, Wellington Exhibition, New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts

1983 – Charlie Gray’s Last and First Coffee


1972-1975 Northland College, Kaikohe, Northland

1976-1977 Auckland Society of Arts, Fine Arts Preliminary – Alistair Nesbitt-Smith and John Perry

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Christopher S. Washington