MARTHA HENRY: What are some of the recurring themes in your work?
JAY MILDER: There are some Old Testament themes like Jacob’s Ladder and the Ark,
but no matter what the paradigm is, there are the same underlying psychological implications.
MH: What do you mean by psychological implications?
JM: These are archetypal images that recur in our basic karma, make-up and need.
MH: Give me an example of an archetypal image.
JM: I think these are symbols. Symbols are an amalgam of disparate parts, a synthesis, an instant synchronism. I believe that Oriental, African and Byzantine art differ from Western art because they
do symbols, whereas we do signs. A symbol is universal; a sign is temporal. Western art fosters signs because they can be and have been manipulated. Signs are based on a concept of a man-oriented universe rather than a pantheistic universe. A sign is not unlike a graven image which can be manipulated in every age. It can change from this to that. A symbol is a continuum. My work has to do with symbols, not signs. When I say I personify shapes instead of doing figures, it’s for that very reason. This is the crux of my art, and what I am getting at.