Colette Miller’s “Global Angel Wings Project” represents the angel within all of us. “To me the wings represent our inner angel,” she has said, “They represent that even though we all come from scarred lives; we’re all human. We all have trauma and drama.” Miller is hoping that this self-realization can unite mankind. Ever since she began this labor of love in 2012, the world has responded wholeheartedly to her art and its message.
From the infamously gritty streets of Skid Row in Downtown Los Angeles to the pristine streets of West Hollywood, to Australia, Mexico, and her first international installation in a destitute area of Kenya, her painted wings can be found projecting hope, spunk, magic—and of course, some irresistible photo ops. Miller positions her art on walls that are accessible to all; regardless of class, religion, race, or socioeconomic standing.
As she described in her TEDx Talk, when she was driving around Los Angeles in 2012 she started to imagine blanks walls covered in large angel wings; partially as a response to the bombardment of advertisements we are inundated with on a daily basis. So, she began to paint the wings as she imagined them. Each a symbol of human spirit, using shades of indigo and violet to incorporate part of the seven chakras—the body’s way of balancing its positive energy.
Without instruction, everyday people began to take notice. Posing with her art and sharing the images on social media. In the midst of an election year, Los Angeles photographer Gary Leonard took photographs of all the mayoral candidates in front of Miller’s wings, which drew a fascinating juxtaposition between Los Angeles politicians and their embracing of street art.
With international installations her movement to enlighten humanity became a global, social phenomenon. With pictures not only being shared across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, but also with international press publications picking up photos of the art in areas of social unrest or conflict. But her wings transcend context, pictures of people standing in front of Miller’s wings—regardless of when or where—resonate with people on so many levels. Daring us to ask if we are in fact the angels of Earth.
“We are the custodians of this planet,” she said in discussing her efforts. “I think that the more meditation on what our choices are as humanity, what we really can do to bring the sky and the heavens down to the street, and do the hard work, and walk the gritty thing…that’s why it’s street art, because I want to bring that big sky and that big consciousness here. I think we can be the angels on this earth and that’s my challenge to us.”
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