Miles Elliot Ludvigsen
(1965 - 2008)

Miles Elliot Ludvigsen

New York, United States of America
May 13, 1965

New York, United States of America
September 5, 2008

Guest Book
That was a great segment on Letterman so any years ago. RIP
Ed Maceyko (fan)
April 27th, 2019
I am very saddened to hear about Miles. He was a senior at Brewster when I was a sophomore. He was, and I can say this without a moment of hesitation, the most creative person I have ever met. His mind was in constant motion thinking of creative ways of expression.

I can remember the time we drove back from Brewster for a holiday vacation in his Road Runner. That was an experience.

I remember one night watching Late Night with David Letterman, and Letterman had Miles draw a picture on the sidewalk.

He touched the hearts of so many with his energy, humor, and wit.
Hank Nusloch (friend from high school)
November 2nd, 2013
hi miles...happy b day.
michele lee (was girlfriend)
May 11th, 2013
Happy birthday Miles

Barbara Gaines (Sister-in-law)
May 13th, 2011
dear Aari, Thinking of you and sending you much love, especially today, on Miles' birthday. The portrait he did of infant Simon spoke volumes of his talent. (Of course, I only wish Simon had had a chance to get to know Miles.) I remember when you saw that amazing, double-arc rainbow in Chatham on... was it Miles' yahrzeit (or his b'day)? And that's the way I will always think of him. May he rest in peace.
Sarah Amelar (Friend)
May 13th, 2011
i am so sorry. i just heard.
jill greenberg (ex girlfriend)
July 17th, 2010
im sooo sorry im very upset and shocked
michele lee (former girlfriend)
February 24th, 2010
I was very saddened to read about Miles's passing. I remember him from the early 80's as a kind and warm hearted boy. He mended my bicycle, chatted about television and films and was always interesting to be with. Miles achieved so much in a life so tragically cut short.
Julia Ware (friend from the 80's)
December 23rd, 2009
Thinking about you a lot lately. Hope you are okay. Much Love, B
Barbara Gaines (sister-in-law)
August 25th, 2009
Dear Aari and Family,

I came across this memorial about a month ago after doing a random search for Miles online. I had lost touch with him many years ago after he moved back East. I was lucky enough to work with Miles at X-Large in the art department. At the time, he was the seasoned illustrator/animator pro and I was the burgeoning computer art jockey who knew how to hook up a scanner.

Miles was a great person to work with, talk with, learn from and share ideas with together. I knew him to be a sensitive, caring, delicate artist. We were fast friends and looked out for each other as best we could despite our difference in age. He would cautiously question the computer and it's potential for art making and I would marvel at the precision and realism of his drawings. I rarely, if ever, remember him starting a drawing twice.

A memory I have that I will carry with me forever was that Miles preferred to draw on black paper. I remember him saying that this was something he picked up from animation and it was the best way to visualize a drawing. He could cast almost any vision from nothing and found ways of being creative within the embodiment of a fresh idea.

Aari, I want you to know that Miles talked about you ALL the time with the deepest love and affection. He talked about his childhood on the race track and his eternal love for Pink Floyd. In high school, I had seen his episode on Late Night as a street artist and my jaw dropped when one day he revealed to me that was him. I remember helping pack up a care package to send to the Late Show (which had just started) from X-Large. Miles was absolutely tickled with joy in getting a thank you letter. He was a hard worker and a great man to know, not to mention an artist with a totemic gift.

Later, Miles would also work at Grand Royal (the Beastie Boys label) where I was also freelancing. Miles contributed some seminal artwork and imagery for the band that was used in print ads, online and on tour. He also contributed to Grand Royal Magazine as well as to some tour fanzines.

I've posted a small sampling of some of what Miles created here that I have saved...

I'll have to see what more I can find and will slowly add to this online gallery.

I've hesitated posting mostly because of the shock and very sad emotions I felt after hearing about Miles passing away. We shared a lot and I knew his daily struggle with depression affected his life in many ways. Now that he's gone and after I've thought about it for awhile, I am just really happy that I got to know him when I was young and first starting my career when the impact of his knowledge and talent had its greatest effect. The time we spent together means a lot to me and is something that I will always remember. I'm sure he was a great brother, but he was also a great friend and teacher.

Steve K
Steven Knezevich (Friend and Co-Worker)
August 1st, 2009
I'm so sorry, Aari. He sounds like a wonderful brother, who had a great sister.
Pamela Evans (longtime friend of Aari)
July 10th, 2009
Miles, we missed you at the 2009 Brewster reunion. You were remembered by all. May stories were told and laughs had. You left a lasting impression on everyone you touched. Our thoughts are with you.
jon hibbard
June 7th, 2009
Dear Barbara, Karl, and Aari,
I was devastated to hear about Miles' passing. He was a critical part of my growing up, and being friends with him made me a better person than I ever could have hoped to be otherwise. I very profoundly regret our losing touch, something I've been constantly on the threshold of rectifying for close to twenty years...Again, my deepest condolences for a miserable turn of events. Thank god I had the privelege of knowing him when I did.
John Corse
John Corse (High School roomate/pal)
April 22nd, 2009
Our sincere condolences for your loss. We're here for you if you have any questions about using our service.
iLasting Staff
November 25th, 2008
I never met anyone remotely like Miles and I expect that I never will. He saw behind the surface of everything and everyone. This may been a gift that possibly was to big for even a big man to carry. He was an intensely inquisitive person who studied and mulled over seemingly all he encountered. Miles was enamored with the visual aspects of life and nature. He duplicated the light and textures of landscapes with a natural ease and a combination of boundless paitience and discipline. I remember running through a 100 page flip card animation he had done in pencil. Each individual page was rich in texture and detail. Each page functioned by itself compositionally as well as contributing integrally to the animation. This could have been done by only Miles. He was extremely deep and talented. Our conversations were never trite or superficial, we talked about the real stuff. Miles was all about the real stuff. Quiet, Gentle, open, and caring, I regret that I did not see more of him and I will miss him.
Paul Saudino (Family Friend)
November 15th, 2008
This is such a lovely memorial to sweet Miles. He was a beautiful and talented soul.
Matt Bernstein (friend)
November 2nd, 2008
I miss seeing Miles on the way home from work. Often he was my reminder that I was on time :) about 5:30, same corner, most evenings, the red jeep waiting with the turn signal flashing left and me at the stop sign smiling because once more this is how we saw each other most often. A passing wave as we went about the familiar routines of going home for dinner - me following him up the road until we waved again. For just a moment a few nights a week, he made me smile, laugh and forget whatever else was on my mind. Miles was a reminder of a childhood long past and a link to a friend I never really forgot. And though I saw him countless times over the last 14 years, we did not speak often. But when we did, he always made a point of telling me how Aari was doing, how wonderful it was to be an Uncle and that his Mom was fine. he was a wonderful creative soul who will be missed for many reasons - for me it's because the routine is broken and I now look to the left and I no longer find him smiling at our funny familiar routine & I wish I could wave just one more time and say thank you for making me laugh all those evenings.
Celeste Conte Gilger (friend)
October 27th, 2008
Aari and family,

I just got the sad news today. It has been 30 years since Miles and I spent time together. I have fond memories of these brief moments. Somehow I feel he would have remembered them too. I regret I never had the chance to ask him if he ever restored the classic Connaught, a teenage dream at the time. His ability illustrate was an exceptional gift. Please share more of his artwork and memories for all who will miss him dearly.

Best Regards,

Jason Malecka
Laguna Niguel-CA
Jason Malecka (Childhood Friend)
September 22nd, 2008
It gets better and better - I like it.
Barbara Gaines (sister-in-law)
September 18th, 2008
Forty-three years is a short life, but a long time to know someone.
You never know anyone else the same way you know the brother you grew
from scratch with day by day and year by year. I wish I was the kind
of person who could tell you a bunch of really great stories that
could conjure up Miles for you. Right now I’m just filled with
hundreds of flashes of his face smiling at different ages and places.

Miles was an intense, funny, dear, incredibly loyal soul from day one.
He had a ridiculously accurate memory, and I always relied on that as
a kind of home-movie storage bank of everything we had shared since my
memory is the fuzzy kind. He was wonderfully curious, and insightful
in entirely unexpected ways. His take on things we were experiencing
often made me think I was distracted by trees while he was enjoying
the forest, while at the same time I was not stopping to notice the
particularly cool trees.

He judged people by their actions and their kindnesses only, seeing
right through the usual noise that distracted me from the essence of
the person standing in front of us. He judged people by direct
evidence rather than by what he was told about them; he refused to
assume anything negative.

After we drove Miles up to New Hampshire for his first year of
boarding school, he was nervously waiting to see who his roommate
would be, and he muttered “I just hope he’s not bigger than me.”
I had to suppress a laugh because at that point his roommate would
have to be the star of the basketball team to be bigger than him. But
he had been a scrawny kid, the kind with endless energy, always on the
go, and he was late to develop, and he hadn’t internalized his recent
growth spurt – and I’m not sure he ever did. He was still a little
guy in his head.

Later when he lived in Manhattan, it wounded him when at night in the
East Village people would cross to the other side of the street when
they saw him coming. They saw a six-foot-something wide-shouldered
guy in a leather jacket with long hair; he knew hew as just Miles,
friend to all, open, sweet, generous, big heart, and just as scared as
they were of the night.

If he hadn’t seen someone for five years, at five years and a day
he’d pick up with them where he left off, probably remembering your
last conversation. If he ever cared about you, he would always care
about you, no matter how much time passed. He didn’t understand how
the world could operate any other way. No matter what happened to him
he never became jaded or broken or negative.

And a lot of really tough stuff happened to him, scary things he had
to deal with inside of his head, a horrible fragmenting and twisting
of reality. His sharp memory and attention to detail would turned
against him. For the second half of his life he was in and out of
being himself. Parts of the Miles we knew and loved would go into
shadow or disappear for long stretches of time. When they came back it
was just so fantastic to see him.

All of Miles was back these past months. We had a terrific weekend
over Labor Day. I was hanging with a brother I hadn’t seen in what
felt like a decade. The impish light was back in his eyes, he was
light on his feet, full of laughter, bubbling over with ideas. We
talked about politics, the books he was reading, the books he was
writing, his plans, our past, and it felt like a whole new chapter in
our lives. Now I know it was the final chapter, but it was unhurried
and light and joyful.

One of my memories from that weekend is of Miles explaining to my two-
year-old Simon, that we would need a whole lot more people to come
over before we could cut into the watermelon on the kitchen counter,
which was the smallest watermelon I had ever seen. After that Simon
pointed and said “too big” whenever he saw the watermelon.

Miles was too big -- too big a personality for me to describe, too big
a talent to fit in standard categories, too big to easily find shoes
for, too much heart to understand why other people didn’t care like
he did, and a huge presence in all of our lives even in his quieter

I’m glad we have enough people here today to finally cut up the
Aari Ludvigsen (Sister)
September 17th, 2008
My Deepest thanks to this kind and generous community…

My treasured friends and family…

Father Gary and St. James Church.

Miles Ludvigsen has taught me many skills. He was fascinated with creatures.

When he was a child…

“MOM, my snake Roger isn’t eating… we need to feed him.”

Okay… make tiny meatballs… squeeze Roger’s jaws open and insert meatball with Q-Tip… massage body.

“MOM… sharks are cool”

Okay… visit every aquarium in travel range… find books and draw all the different kinds of sharks.

Soon he was doing amazing things with less help…

Then when I was feeling more sidelined on the bench… it was time to learn what mental illness does to a creative mind.

It was my time to learn how to talk to a far away mind and lost soul. Find the keys to those closed doors.

How much can be learned about the challenges of all those “OTHER FOLKS” whose circumstance brings very bad luck.

Isn’t it all about the hand you are dealt and the journey, finding the courage to work with what you have.

Miles helped me learn terrible fears can be beaten with courage and an open heart.

His journey was hard and ended too soon…

But he left a path with deep marks!
Barbara Willner (Mother)
September 17th, 2008
It was New Year’s Eve 1983 when Miles, then a senior in prep school,
passed out from too much Champagne in the upstairs hallway of the
Ludvigsens’ house in Pelham and his mom asked me to help her get him
into bed. Okay, Miles wasn’t actually passed out, just deeply drunk,
highly immobile, and very possibly enjoying it. Let me put it this
way: he was coherent enough to utter the phrase “Holy shit. You
gotta be kidding” ten to fifteen times while Barbara and I, grunting,
dragged him along the floor toward his bedroom. We laughed about it
for years afterwards:
“Holy shit,” I’d say to Barbara, whom I still called Mrs.
“You gotta be kidding,” she’d say right back.

When Miles was in college, he bought a bass guitar and formed a band,
the name of which I don’t recall, with some buddies from RISD. Maybe
because I was a part-time music critic (or, more likely, in spite of
that), Miles asked me to listen to their demo tape. It was the worst
music I had ever heard, or ever will hear. I mean, all the other
music ever made should have filed a class-action suit against it, for
defaming the term “music.” It was horrid.

So I told Miles I liked the band’s logo, which I did. He had
designed it himself and stenciled it on the cassette box in black and
silver paint, and it was alarming and funny and beautiful, exactly as
good as the songs it advertised were bad. Miles’s band had a Logo-to-
Music Ratio as lopsided as any in the history of rock and roll, with
the possible exception of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.

In no way, though, did this hinder Miles’s ability to attract what I
still think of as his Art School Girlfriends, capital A capital S
capital G. Eye-linered girls in studded leather bracelets and buckly
biker boots, girls with lots of heavy-metal hair, bleached of all
color or dyed black. They wore so much mousse, they smelled like
mousse. Barbara called Miles and his girlfriends The Hamsters, for
the way they slept all day (well, past noon at least) and played ‘til
dawn or thereabouts as if spinning a squeaky wheel together,
joyfully. I met two Art School Girlfriends, though there may have
been more.

Indeed, I have no idea how widely Miles was loved, since my
familiarity with him was limited to family-oriented activities. I’m
certain, though, that Miles was loved deeply -- as passionately as
anyone I’ve ever known. (I thought for a while before writing those
words to be sure they were true.) He was a special person who lived,
often unawares, in the warm light of others’ adoration.
Aari and I visited her father in London, once, and I’ll never forget
the intensity with which, the moment we’d sat down in his car, Mr.
Ludvigsen whirled from behind the steering wheel and asked “How’s

Barbara matted and framed at least one of Miles’s childhood drawings
-- which, granted, deserved to be preserved and displayed. Like the
cassette-box logo, it was that good. This doesn’t detract one bit
from the pride and joy communicated by the object’s special
treatment, which I last saw hanging in the Austerlitz house:
Barbara’s pride and joy in Miles. Of course, her mounting of
Miles’s artwork was quite literally the least of it.
And Aari? It was Aari who saw Who Framed Roger Rabbit because her
little brother was an animator. (“But Miles hasn’t seen Who Framed
Roger Rabbit!” I ranted, pointlessly.) Once she nearly swooned with
sisterly pride describing how handsome Miles looked in a teeshirt, I
think, and “a pair of Bob’s old pants.” Aari thought the
“music” recorded by Miles’s band was good.
Holy shit. You gotta be kidding.

At his nephew Simon’s bris a couple of summers ago, Miles was wearing
a cotton or rayon guyabara shirt and…was it a pair of Bob’s old
pants? He looked terrific. Squinting into the sunlight that banked
off the Hudson River nearby, he unconsciously raked his lank auburn
hair with his big fingers, the way he’d done for years. We smiled at
each other and exchanged a few words, as always. That’s the way
I’ll remember him.
Adam Sexton (Friend)
September 17th, 2008
Miles had no chance to rage!
I mean that in the sense that Dylan Thomas meant it in his lines:

“Do not go gentle into that good night,

“Old age should burn and rage at close of day;

“Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

He was caught unawares, taken by surprise to what — if it comforts
us, and it comforts me — Thomas called “that good night”.

Miles — of whom I am so proud — lived a life of tremendous energy.
I know because whenever he was with me I couldn’t keep him in wrist
watches! They didn’t stand a chance around Miles!

Miles saw more, thought more, felt more, perhaps feared more. And who
among us would say that he was wrong so to do?

Miles made connections where others couldn’t see them. In England he
was fascinated with Stonehenge and our mysterious crop circles.

We had two great car tours in Europe. One was a kind of lap of
Switzerland through Germany and Italy and the other was a trip to
Scotland. When Pan Am Flight 105 went down it was carrying our
Christmas presents for the kids. It crashed at Lockerbie in Scotland
where we’d stopped, on our trip, to take a picture next to the
town’s sign. Miles saw this as a powerful connection. And who among
us would say that he was wrong so to do?

Like many others I was in awe of Miles’s phenomenal talent. I’ve
seen his artwork and his animation — and it’s wonderful to see it
displayed so dramatically here today. But what I haven’t seen is his

A few visits ago Annette and I learned about his writing projects, but
he wouldn’t let us see his work — a feeling I can well understand!

But I hope we will see it, because I have a hunch that this amazing
man still has some surprises in store for us.

It was George Bernard Shaw who said, “Life levels all men: death
reveals the eminent.”

I know with all my heart that Miles Elliot Ludvigsen will be among the
Karl Ludvigsen (Father)
September 17th, 2008

We should change the things we can

Accept the things we cannot

And know the difference between the two

We could not change Miles’ death

But Barbara believed she could change his life

Many people helped Miles in his come back.

Two helped most and made it possible

Miles and his Mom.

Barbara worked and worked

Cajoled, pushed and loved

Miles joined AA, stopped drinking,

faithfully took his medication

And, for too short a time, they were rewarded.

Miles came back and bloomed.

He painted again, wrote novels, read

the newspapers and devoured books

He fully participated in conversations

Enjoyed people and loved the dogs.

The light went out much too early.

Miles believed in something beyond,

some form of afterlife.

If there is he will make it a better place.

Barbara and I were with Miles when he died,

Her pain was ripping.

Barbara please always remember

That you gave him life twice.
Bob Willner (Step-father)
September 17th, 2008
Aari - this is so great!!!
Barbara Gaines (sister-in-law)
September 16th, 2008
25 entries
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"My darling son...I miss you and think of you constantly. You were an amazing and always surprising human being. Why did we loose you so soon in your life?"
Barbara Willner
August 21st, 2017
"I love you like, I love beefstew - you truely are a God Product now! Shine on you crazy diamond! Hope we will play again some day."
Lars Nordin
February 17th, 2011
"I will always have the best memories of you Miles.I feel sad that I just found out about your passing.I was looking at a piece of art you made for me 16 years ago and decided to google your name. You were always kind and soft spoken with more talent "
Chris Sutherland
February 3rd, 2010
"Miles was a good guy."
eric bonerz
June 18th, 2009
"Thinking of you today buddy."
March 5th, 2009
"Still can't believe you're gone. So sad."
Aari Ludvigsen
January 15th, 2009
"Miles, I'll always remember how gentle and gifted you were."
Sharon Saudino
January 15th, 2009
"May God bless you and keep you safe for ever and ever."
Annette Ludvigsen
November 26th, 2008
"Miles You are still a part of our life and our thoughts. We regret so much that we never had the opportunity to meet you. Felix, Baerbel, Frank und Annette Schnieder Osnabrueck (Germany)"
baerbel schnieder
November 24th, 2008
"It's been 12 weeks Miles and we miss you."
Barbara Gaines
November 15th, 2008


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