Mikey Foster Estes

Artist based in Phoenix, Arizona


Oct. 1 - Dec. 31, 2021
COLOR: the beauty and science of color
Tempe Center for the Arts (Tempe, AZ)

Opening on Nov. 13, 2021
Project Art Distribution (P.A.D.)
Walter’s (Amsterdam, NY)

Jan. 21 - Feb. 13, 2022
Me Loving You/You Loving Me
Solo exhibition at Eye Lounge (Phoenix, AZ)


Afterimages, 2021
dye sublimation prints mounted on steel bar, printed text
19‘ installation

Afterimages consists of digital photographs and note entries that chronicle the experience of loss. Made between November 2019 and the present, the images depict daily scenes within the family home as it’s changed in ways both visible and felt. Many of the images are casually made and forgotten about, only to resurface as the record of something no longer there. The fragments of text, simultaneously revealing and opaque, loosely ground the visual in personal narrative and metaphor. In documenting the transformation of presence into absence, the work’s content and internal logic is prone to fluctuation and renewal, valuing emotion over resolution.

The work is an ongoing collection of images and text that will exist in different iterations over time. The first iteration of this work was completed in April 2021 and presented the content more or less chronologically. In September 2021, a second iteration was produced for “Memento Mori: Memento Vivere,” a group exhibition at Northlight Gallery focused on photography’s relationship to death. This sequence was approached more formally and included additional images and text.
Installation view, Eye Lounge, April 2021

Installation view, Northlight Gallery, September 2021

Beaver’s Show, 2021
paintings and works on paper by John “Beaver” Estes

Beaver’s Show is an installation of my late father’s artwork. Both a craftsman and retired carpenter, Beaver discovered painting later in life while I was in art school. This accumulation of his self-taught oeuvre, in which landscape and natural imagery figure prominently, are displayed directly across from my photographs made in the family home.

This mirroring is repeated in Daddy’s Boy, a video I made as a student in 2013. The split screen video follows my father and I as we each build a side of a small piece of furniture. The action is playfully subverted by the introduction of high heel shoes, a gesture drawing contrast to gendered expectations of masculine identities. Both sides of the stand are assembled and finished differently, and the video concludes with the image of the two halves coming together.

Runtime: 4:28 min.
Cinematography: Rae Pepino

Phone Call, 2020
June - July 2020

Conceived of for “Roadside Attraction,” a multi-site, drive-by exhibition organized by ArtFarm/practical art at the height of COVID-19, Phone Call is a performance score that was presented discreetly on a residential street in Tempe, AZ. From the safety of their vehicle, participants could access the score and various other public artworks through Google Maps.

Living Room, 2020
livestreamed performance, 16:48 min.
Documentation of full performance: Vimeo

Living Room is a performance that considers the space of my living room as a two-dimensional grid on which a set of movements occur. The changing configurations of shaped silhouettes, which stand in for items of furniture and decor, are choreographed to represent distinct moments in time. A spoken text that ranges from matter-of-fact observations to autobiographical asides collapses poetry and list-making into a single stream of information.

This performance was conceived of for the nueBOX RE:volve series, “a laboratory performance experience that gives artists the opportunity to share their work in front of an intimate audience.” Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the work was ultimately reimagined as a livestream broadcasted from my kitchen table.