A Vermont-born, Manhattan-based multimedia artist, Sherry Mills has earned a reputation for her playful range of medium and always-provocative message that nothing is quite what we perceive it to be. Sherry’s artistic vision collapses the familiar distinctions that box our world into opposing categories—high and low; masculine and feminine; tragic and comic; beautiful and ugly; old and young—revealing them to be mere matters of mental perspective housed inside of something that is ultimately still; something that can celebrate trash and treasure as though they were the same.
From billboards to box art, Sherry employs formats that have the power to induce a closer look. She wonders if paying attention might be resurrected by this act of blowing up and shrinking down the beautiful, yet often overlooked.
The University of New Hampshire laid Sherry’s foundation in drawing and oil painting. Then a year in Europe found her one-on-one with a master marble sculptor in Pietrasanta, Italy, followed by a six-month apprenticeship with a renowned Venetian leather mask maker. One of the last true Commedia dell’Arte street performers, his unique trade became her daily life as she joined him in taking Carnivale by storm, all the while developing the Italian language with a band of game makers, musicians, and fire eaters. Her work in clay modeling and reproduction, coupled with leather, originated a form of sculptural leather handbag.
Moving to New York, Sherry’s studies took the form of improvisational theatre, Bel Canto voice technique, and dance. Yet her passion for capturing “street paintings” with the camera began to dominate her focus, finally evolving into the project A CLOSER NY. Sherry’s photos are commonly mistaken for abstract expressionist paintings, while they are actually unstaged, close-up details of scrawls on walls, splattered paint, and street lane stains - her photography has been called "accidental graffiti". CLOSER collections have since been developed in Florence, San Diego, and in Mexico. Sherry’s intent with the project is to give voice to a new perfect, one born of imperfection.
Exploring her lifelong passion for dollhouse miniatures, antiques, dolls, fabrics, old family photos, vintage advertisements, and found objects, Sherry has recently entered the assemblage domain…but with her own unique twist. Utilizing the Box Art genre, she is devising a new form of Portraiture. From online questionnaires, Sherry extracts the dreams, struggles, and interests of her subjects and then interprets them in Box Art form. Her lifelong exploration in the alternative healing arts – brought on by a deep need to overcome her own mental challenges – sets her intuiting skills apart, and perhaps that is why her commissioned box art pieces have been said to serve as emotional connecting points for their recipients.
Sherry’s Collectors include a handful of National Bestselling Authors, among them Keith Ferrazzi (of Never Eat Alone), Howard Bloom (former publicist for Prince, considered “the next Stephen Hawking”), and JP Farrell (The Metaphysician behind Manifesting Michelangelo); Neil McLellan (producer for The Prodigy, Oasis, and Madonna); Claudio Nardi, Architect of the new Museum of Modern Art in Krakow; Buffy Easton, Director of the Center for Curatorial Leadership; James Traub, writer for The New York Times Magazine; and Boogaloo Blues hit star Johnny Colon.
Sherry’s work has been featured by Casa da Abitare Magazine, The New Inquiry Magazine, Dossier Journal, The Beheld, The Pothole View, on Bronx Channel 12, Film Courage, Mingle Media TV Network, Paragons & Icons, was a Staff Pick on Kickstarter.com, and a short film made about her work by filmmaker Nathalie Michel entitled “Sherry Mills on ArtUP” won entry into the HollyShorts Film Festival.