Monday, 29 November 2010

Harland Miller

I have just discovered Harland Miller, via this isn't happiness (a blog dedicated to 'Art Photography Design & Disappointment'. Note: some nudity and occasional strong language but nothing worse than what you might encounter at The Tate Gallery).
Harland Miller is a writer and artist who has been producing a series of paintings based on the covers of classic Penguin paperbacks. He has a nice blend of satire and dark humour along with admirable technique. I like this painting because it is often true that when one gets down in the dumps you can get used to it and get caught in a cycle of melancholy. Someone or something on a different plane to yourself can bring you out of it, often without even knowing it.
There are also some people who are continuously feeling sorry for themselves, moaning and groaning about everything going wrong and nothing ever works out; not happy unless they are unhappy about something or other.  But in fact their life isn't all that bad and many of their problems are of their own making and could probably be fixed. If you've ever tried getting such a person to buck up a bit and stop going on you'll know what I mean.
And the painting works on other levels too; as a satire on the cod latin phrase 'Nil illegitemi carborundum' popularised during the Second World War; and as a reaction to traditionalists who resist this kind of Art.
There's more Harland Miller stuff at White Cube. (Same Note.)

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