“APACHELYPSE Now” Douglas Miles: de Young Museum’s 2016-17 Global Fellow



“APACHELYPSE Now” a glimpse into the multi-faceted work of Douglas Miles from the San Carlos Apache Nation in Arizona. Using street art forms, he creates work that simultaneously deconstructs stereotypes and emboldens Native people in the 21st century. Douglas’ renegade ethos at work creates a new iconography in art, photos and film. The title, “APACHELYPSE Now” is an homage to Francis Ford Coppola’s Vietnam epic “Apocalypse Now” about a lone poet, renegade colonel, and his tribe gone rogue from the U.S.

Douglas Miles is an artist, designer, photographer, filmmaker, muralist, public speaker and founder of Apache Skateboards. He assembles traditional and non-traditional materials and images to tell American Indian stories and to offer Native perspectives often absent from mainstream accounts. His work encourages reflection on how art can foster community-building and promote pride and well-being, especially among young people. His use of imagery that includes the famous Apache Chief Geronimo emphasizes both the centrality of conflict in Apache-American modern history, as well as the Native resistance to both cultural commodification and political incorporation. His work is rooted in Apache history and deeply engaged with the world of contemporary pop culture.


“Apache Leadership” – 8′ x 5″ – Aerosol on canvas portrait of legendary Apache Chief Geronimo           Painted by Douglas Miles @ San Carlos Apache Nation 2016

Douglas’ work has been exhibited at Princeton University, Columbia University, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, and the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum in Santa Fe, to name a few. His work is in the collections of the National Museum of the American Indian, the Montclair Art Museum, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Warner Brothers Studios, and the Eddie Basha Collection. Douglas recently collaborated with actor and author Ethan Hawke and artist Greg Ruth on a New York Times bestseller graphic novel, Indeh: A Story of the Apache Wars.


Douglas Miles, Doug Jr & Ethan Hawks – photo shot by Ernie Paniccioli

Apache Skateboards: Watching his son practice skateboarding in the early 2000s, Miles drew corollaries between skateboarding and the Apache warrior tradition, as both involved increased concentration, stamina, and the ability to withstand pain. After finding no skate decks available relevant to Apache culture, Miles painted a skateboard deck himself and gave it to his son, spawning Apache Skateboards and Apache Skate Team.

14225336_10155250176643378_5929044320439892158_n.jpgApache Skateboards, comprised of Miles and a number of younger collaborators including his son Douglas Jr. and photographer/filmmaker Reuben Ringlero, work in film, photography, fine art, skateboarding, murals, multimedia projects, community projects, skate park planning, skateboard events, apparel design, television, film, youth conferences, and speaking engagements. As Apache Skate Team, the group gives skating demonstrations, organizes skateboard contests and concerts, and curates art shows around the country, especially on Indian Reservations.

Douglas Miles’ San Francisco Visit:  As the 2016-17 de Young Global Fellow, Douglas will be in San Francisco from January 17 – March 14, 2017. During his visit,  he will engage with the Bay Area indigenous and artistic communities, including a month long artist-in-residency at the de Young Musuem. In March, Douglas will be a guest artist of the Luggage Store Gallery in downtown San Francisco, where he will create a public art piece at the Luggage Store Annex/509 Cultural Center. The 509 Cultural Center is one of San Francisco’s premier non profit multidisciplinary arts organizations dedicated to cultural equity and broadening social and aesthetic networks.

  • January 17 – March 15: Douglas Miles will connect and engage with the San Francisco Bay Area’s indigenous and artistic communities.
  • February 1 – 26: “Apachelypse Now”- Douglas Miles, de Young Museum’s Artist-in-Residence,  Kimball Education Gallery, Wednesdays – Sundays, 1 – 5pm
  • February 25 from 3pm – 5pm: Closing reception, Kimball Education Gallery
  • March 1 – March 13: Public Art project at 509 Ellis, Tenderloin National Forest in partnership with the Luggage Store Gallery located in downtown San Francisco
  • March 1 – March 13: Public Viewing of public art work at 509 Ellis

The Global Fellows Program is made possible with the generous support from The Christensen Fund. The de Young Global Fellows program invites indigenous artists from around the world to activate the museum as a space where important cultural connections can be forged and historic collections can be enlivened through interactions with the public. The de Young Museum’s Artist-in-Residence program brings working artists into the museum setting, giving the community access to the artistic process. This program enables museum visitors to meet and give artists an opportunity to work with the public. By watching an artist work, talking with an artist, and engaging in art-making activities, visitors learn more about various techniques and processes, thus gaining a greater understanding and appreciation for the art on view at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Partners Organizations: 

The Luggage Store Gallery: http://www.luggagestoregallery.org

Luggage Store Annex: http://www.luggagestoregallery.org/lsa/

Tenderloin Nation Forest: http://www.luggagestoregallery.org/tnf/

de Young Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco:  www.deyoung.famsf.org/artiststudio

Kua`aina Associates: http://kuaainaassociates.com



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