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Harland
Miller

Discover art for sale. Buy and sell prints & editions online by British artist Harland Miller. Using dark humour and an abstract expressionist visual language, Miller's paintings reimagine iconic Penguin book covers.

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Biography

Writer and painter Harland Miller is best known for his recreations of Penguin book jackets and for his mischievous, often dark, sense of humour. Characterised by an undercurrents of satire and self-depreciation, Miller’s paintings, prints, sculptures and mixed media artworks explore the relationship between word and image, to comment on the frequent disconnect between representation and reality.

Murder - We've All Done it by Harland Miller

Image © Christie's / Murder - We've All Done it © Harland Miller 2011

1. £325,000 for Harland Miller's Murder - We've All Done It

In keeping with Miller’s Penguin Classics dust jacket series, Murder - We’ve All Done it incorporates the artist’s typical inspiration in a special edition marble-effect format. Naturally, the witty text draws us in, with this title being used multiple times across the artist’s oeuvre, and this specific work sold for £325,000 at Christie’s London on October 16th 2021.

Too Cool to Die by Harland Miller

Image © Sotheby's / Too Cool to die © Harland Miller 2004

2. £277,200 for Harland Miller's Too Cool To Die

A perfect example of Miller’s irreverent parodies of the Penguin Classic book covers, Too Cool To Die recently sold for £277,200 at Sotheby’s London on the 3rd March 2022. More than just witty wordplay, this large-scale piece demonstrates the depth of personal connection Miller has to the vintage Penguin jackets that have shaped his career - we see the green tinted edges of the painting suggesting the novel’s wear and age. The level of depth and painterly attention given to the rich orange background here is also indicative of the influence that artists such as Mark Rothko have had on his work.

Incurable Romantic by Harland Miller

Incurable Romantic © Harland Miller 2007

3. £237,500 for Harland Miller's Incurable Romantic Seeks Dirty Filthy Whore

One for those looking for fast love – Incurable Romantic Seeks Dirty Filthy Whore, from the personal collection of singer George Michael, set a new auction record for Miller when it was auctioned at Christie’s in London on 14 March 2019. Selling for £237,500, it more than tripled the previous record of £75,000 set by Sotheby’s in 2015. The painting sold after just two minutes of intense bidding in the saleroom and over the telephones, eventually achieving almost eight times its low estimate.

Incurable Romantic is quickly becoming one of Miller’s most popular artworks with collectors. Inspired by the lonely hearts adverts in newspapers, the artist has made many versions of this piece over the years, reworking the title onto different styles of Penguin covers. The record-breaking painting from George Michael’s collection was created in 2007 – the singer bought it in the same year and kept it in his collection for the rest of his life.

Incurable Romantic by Harland Miller

Incurable Romantic © Harland Miller 2007