The Official site for:  MYLO QUAM THE ARTIST & HIS PAINTINGS                    

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Mylo Quam  - The Artistist  & His Paintings (1941-1996)  


Mylo Quam was best known for his distinctive oil paintings which blend his strong background in mythology, the classics and religion, with a unique style of expression influenced by his notable wit, intelligence and eroticism. His diverse work, as shown by many of the images on this website, range from  light and whimsical, to dense and intensely disturbing.  Quam was a self-taught artist with a strong background in Greek and Classical Studies. He was awarded a scholarship in Greek Studies at the age of sixteen to Brandies University. At seventeen he worked as a translator of Greek plays. 

Quam studied Classics at Brandies, Boston, and New York Universities. He designed sets and costumes for theatre companies including the Actor's Playhouse in NYC, and for ballets including the Lucas Hoving Ballet Company and the Opera Municipal de Marseilles, France. He also created illustrations for The Story of O, published by Grove Press in 1970 and created a series of lithographs in 1975 based on the poem of Rimbaud, Une Saison En Enfer (A Season in Hell).


Mylo Quam had a successful career as an actor on television, and on and off-Broadway for the better part of his twenties. He was cast in a leading role in Royal Hunt of the Sun, on Broadway. He shared the stage with actors that included Jessica Tandy, Katherine Hepburn, and Christopher Plummer. In the late sixties he left the stage and focused primarily on his painting.

Quam Relaxing

Quam’s paintings and collages have been exhibited in many prominent galleries in New York City, San Francisco, Key West and Woodstock. (These Exhibitions are listed on this site with their accompanying announcements that had been collected by the Estate.) His first one-man show was a sell-out at the Boatman Gallery in 1969 - a series of 64 paintings and lithographs on Viet Nam which included the painting "Paco Cruentos" (oil shown in available paintings). In his life-time, Mylo Quam had thirty-five solo shows and thirteen group exhibitions.

Quam’s paintings have been exhibited internationally - he had four international shows before his death in 1996. Mylo's solo exhibition in Haiti was the first by an American artist. Mylo Quam was also one of four artists selected to represent the United States in La Bienalle di Venezia, Italia of 1986, the oldest art festival in the world. His last exhibitions were at the prestigious CFM Gallery, NYC in 1995 and 1996. He died in 1996 in his early fifties.

Mylo Quam at work

Mylo Quam lived with his partner of 32 years, actor/sculptor Miles Baron, in the Woodstock region from 1965 to 1996.  Quam was admired for his controversial and humorous style evidenced in his paintings and collages. Shakespeare, Eastern and Western religion, classics, mythology, the occult, politics and pop culture inspired his provocative figural work. He created 761 oils and collages during his lifetime. Quam’s work was described as "visually dense, sometimes disturbing, often erotically charged, and providing an interpretive challenge to viewers." Art Critic Raymond Steiner of Art Times wrote, “Quam delights in what [the artist] terms visual “jokes” that, more often than not, make unusual demands upon his viewers. One must ‘read’ Quam’s  paintings to get their full import.” 

More about his work

There is much behind the figures on the oil canvas of even Quam's lightest of paintings. This can be seen in his "Double Portrait"  which he painted for his 25th Anniversary (also titled Apollo/Dionysian - Singing Dance Men, see below.) In Quam's portrait of himself and his partner, Miles, he is influenced by the dichotomy of the Greek Mythology of Dionysus, god of ritual madness and ecstasy, and Apollo, god of the sun, dreams and reason. Similarly, the whimsical oil "The Wall" (Heir ist Verboten, below) is a political expression of the taking down of the Berlin Wall.
25th Anniversary Double Portrait (Dionysus & Apollo)
The Wall (Heir ist Verboten)
In sharp contrast are striking and disturbing pieces, two of which he reworked several times and are shown below. The first, "Paco Cruentos" (Cruel Peace -a Triptych 48" x 73"), is an oil painting illustrating the tortures in the Vietnam War. The second, the impressive oil "For Cybele", (Die Sanguinis - a 71" x 76") which was one of his largest and is a magnificently strong painting. It is based on the exotic ritual sacrifice the Taurobolium (a ritual where those seeking purification and rebirth stood under the slats of a wooden grate to be showered in the blood of a slaughtered bull, being rejuvenated and reborn by the power of the blood of the bull.
Paco Cruentos (Cruel Peace) also titled Jungle War - Vietnam Triptych
For Cybele (die Sanguinis) Blood Day- the Power of the Blood of the Bull

In Closing

Of the 761 oils created, the Estates of Quam and Baron have 27 paintings remaining as well as inks and a large collection of his original drawings and working sketches. Most of the remaining oils are shown in this website. These paintings are comprised primarily of the personal collections from the home of the artist, Mylo, and his partner Miles, and family. They can be viewed on this website along with some of our favorites that have been sold or otherwise acquired by Quam's admirers over the years. We have also put together a book which provides detail on many of his paintings, his influences and biographical information. This book is published on Blurb and the link can be found above at by using the tab at the top of the page [Quam Books/Contact Info]. It is our desire to preserve his work. We welcome your comments, stories, high quality photographs of any Quam paintings that you may have, has well as questions about this uniquely talented artist and man. - ELS

All Rights Reserved as to all paintings, images and content in this website (Not to be used or copied without express permission)