'I choose the path of creation as a lifestyle, with a strong belief in the transformative, reflective power of art in our daily lives.''
Eduardo Milieris was born in 1960 in Montevideo, Uruguay to hardworking parents who believed in education and the power of art. From a young age, Milieris was exposed to all of the art world culture that the Uruguayan metropolis had to offer. From the early age of five he created conceptual compositions. They were only spirals, enough to fill a notebook, but his wide-reaching young mind titled them, “Cruel Worlds.” Looking back, Milieris remembers them to be inspired by a cartoon character flushing himself down a toilet before saying, “goodbye, cruel world.” The spirals were action drawings, swirls of water down a drain. At the age of ten he saw his first Calder show, and the shapes and colors of the mobiles, their form, function, balance, and dynamism hypnotized the young boy. With each year a new inspiration, Miro, Kandinsky, Pollock; always colorful, always dynamic. At Milieris’ bar mitzvah he received his first wristwatch and the role of functionality radicalized his views of aesthetics. In his following teen years he studied key components of watchmaking, like engraving, enamels, and glasswork, as well as taking up photography.
Milieris attended art school in his hometown of Montevideo, before eventually moving to New York City. Always a hard worker—never a starving artist—he worked odd jobs while honing his skills in his various mediums. Those mediums all came together through the inspiration of the city. By foot or public transit, always on the go, Milieris experienced the urban landscape up close and in the raw. Discarded trash and industrial components started to appear to him as art supplies and he had no need for a traditional canvas. Watchcraft, the wristwatch design company, developed as the full extension of Milieris’s life experience and path as an artist.
French poet Arthur Rimbaud once compared the role of the poet or artist to that of the sorcerer. This relationship is implied in the pun of Milieris’ watch company name, Watchcraft. As an artist of horology (the science of timekeeping), Milieris is doing the work of a sorcerer, performing witchcraft, transforming the commonplace into the magical. With everyday items, the refuse of our urban environment, the artist-sorcerer goes to work cutting, bending, welding, and engraving all to magically create functional timekeeping devices that are also aesthetic wonders.
Jordan A. Rothacker