Harland Miller will be exhibiting at Marabini Gallery, Bologna, Vicolo della neve 5 until 4th May 2012. Miller takes much-loved book jackets of classic works by Hemmingway, Fitzgerald, Edgar Allen Poe and others as his starting point. By rendering them in oils at poster size with quirky new titles, he transforms them into contemporary, often satirical commentaries on life and literature as A Fist To Cry On or The Me I Never Knew.
As with Californian artist, Ed Ruscha, it is words that set the tone in MillerÊ¼s work. Whether ironic, nostalgic, or downright cheeky - Dirty Northern Bastard by DH Lawrence, or IÊ¼m so Fucking Hard by Hemmingway - the titles demythologise and amuse in equal measure. Miller plays to magnify the painting pictures of the authors on the back cover creating similarities with photographs of the criminals that police hangs around the city.
Miller is attracted to books as objects – the more battered, stained and lived in the better. “I remember my parentsÊ¼ Penguin books. For me, they are about nostalgia for a by-gone era – that musty smell, those coffee-mug rings, the often heart-breaking inscriptions on the inside cover.”
Miller has lived and worked in New York , Berlin and Paris. Born in the North of England in 1964, MillerÊ¼s fondness for the drizzle and grimness of those northern towns remains a strong theme in his work. “I suppose mine is a very English sense of humour,” he says.
For more information, please visit the Marabini Gallery website.