Press and New Archieves
2019 Miami Book Fair
100% of sales from the award-winning book went to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
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RIDGELAND — While some kids are voted Most Popular and Best Dressed in school, Milan Sergent was named Most Mysterious. Sergent said he never felt like one of the crowd, and being an outsider is the central theme of his work.
“I took some paintings to a gallery in Mississippi, and they wouldn't talk to me,” said Sergent, owner of the Ridgeland gallery Ovations. “I realized that my art wasn't typical Mississippi subject matter.”
“I thought they would just take a piece or two, but they wanted to do a whole show,” said Sergent, who plans to show 15 paintings at the New York gallery.
Sergent has been painting for two years and said he recently discovered a central theme in his art.
“I'm trying to show the disdain people have for outsiders,” he said. “I'm trying to paint those prejudices. We are all considered inferior to someone, and if we could realize that, we would probably be less judgmental of others, because we are all the same.”
Sergent uses gothic imagery to create unique paintings that some might consider eerie. He plays with contrasts - dark and light, good and evil - prompting his audience to question its ideas of reality and normalcy.
Some paintings he plans to show include “Lord Lunacy and Madame Dementia,” two colorful gothic figures that refuse to blend in with the gray memorial stone to which they are affixed; “Miss Anthropy,” a black-and-white painting of a gothic madam holding the head of a clown and fanning herself with hatchets; and “Mendacity,” a Medusa-like figure wearing a gothic mask.
Sergent's paintings - some of which feature commonly dressed “normals” that critically eye gothic sophisticates and outsiders - judge the judgmental. He also works to make the disturbing less aberrant, forcing his audience to face its fears about life and death.
“I love to paint the darker, seedier things in life and give it a candy coating to make it not so shocking to people,” said Sergent, who attended Hinds Community College in 1985, majoring in commercial design and creative writing.
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