Mikey Yates'Hoop Dreams', 2022
Archival Pigment Print on Somerset Satin Tub Size 410gsm paper,
with spot varnishes and screen-printed layers84 x 70.2 cm / 33 x 27.6 inches
Edition of 50 + 5 APs
£1,250 + VAT
Belonging and emotional connection are central themes in Filipino-American painter Mikey Yates’s work. His portraits of family, friends, and places of sentimental value are at once both deeply personal and universally relatable. They portray seemingly mundane yet cherished snapshots of repose and recreation.
‘Hoop Dreams’ (2018) was Yates’s first large-scale painting, celebrating his long-standing love for basketball. Yates offers us a candid glimpse of his bedroom, where the adolescent artist reclines on his bedroom and idly tosses and catches a ball in the air in a practised motion, dreaming of one day playing in the NBA. On the wall behind, we see a carefully arranged display of tear-sheet posters from Slam magazine – a nesting ritual he developed when settling in a new place. A ray of light streaks across the textured wall and this rudimentary hall of fame, illuminating the sports stars frozen mid-action in their moments of glory. Many may relate to this tactic for building a safe space; a sanctuary for the anxiety and worries of modern life. In presenting us his own, Yates welcomes us to reflect on the impact that the people and places have on us, and what it really means to feel at home.
For his first ever print release, Yates has chosen to replicate the original painting as closely as possible in a detailed hybrid archival pigment print. Additional spot varnishes and screen-printed finishes pull focus towards narrative elements of the composition, such as the slight sheen of the magazine posters and the tacky patterned surface of the basketball – frozen and glistening mid-air – in turn bringing the dream to life.
Read more about 'Hoop Dreams' and Yates' life and practice in Sean Beauford's Artsy editorial piece here.
"I am interested in the stories places tell about people, and the stories people tell about places."
About the artist
The spirit of homely comfort that pervades Yates’ work stems from a childhood spent frequently relocating and on account of his parents’ military careers. In each new location, Yates would re-enter the process of assimilating into his new environment and building new relationships with the people there, supported by quality time spent with those closest to him. One constant present in the various localities was basketball. As a widely played and accessible sport, Yates developed a deep affinity for basketball at a young age playing in Bavaria and later in the Philippines, which in turn provided a consistent sense of normalcy and security in each new setting.
Mikey Yates is based in Kansas City, MO. He has earned a BFA from Missouri State University and recently completed an MFA at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has been exhibiting his work in solo and group shows across the US and also in the UK and Morocco since 2018. Yates’ work has featured in It's Nice That, BOOOOOOOM!, YNGSPC, Create Magazine & Friend of the Artist, and was selected for the MFA annual issue of New American Paintings, curated by Beth Rudin DeWoody.