Printed in 2013, Painting For Charles Addams is a signed silkscreen print on Somerset paper by Harland Miller. The print in colours depicts an embrace between a man and woman. In the centre of the composition, a man holds a woman’s head as she gazes up at him. The print shows the couple on the verge of a romantic kiss, rendered in dark colours, with black and red dominating the print. The print is accompanied by text in yellow at the top and bottom of the composition. The text is witty and ironic, characteristic of Miller’s dark humour and wit which runs throughout his works. The text suggests the couple are deeply unhappy, which counters the way they appear to be lovingly embracing one another.
Painting For Charles Addams is part of the Obituary series. In this series Miller takes obituaries of famous personalities as his starting point. He imbues the images in this series with humour and nostalgia, important features of his artistic practice which are often avoided in contemporary art. Painting For Charles Addams is based on the obituary of Charles Addams, the American artist and cartoonist, known for his dark humour and macabre characters. His most famous work was creating the fictional cartoon household, The Addams Family, a satirical inversion of the ideal 20th-century American family.The print is based on the painting, Painting for Charles Addams (2012) which was exhibited at the White Cube Hoxton Square in 2012 as part of Miller’s exhibition, The Next Life’s On Me.
Miller is most famous for his Penguin prints series which he began in 2001, inspired by the format of the dust jackets of Penguin books. In this iconic series, he appropriates the familiar format and motif of the Penguin title page by coming up with his own ironic, humorous titles. Miller’s humour shines through in this print, reflective of his interest in the relationship between words and images and the disconnect between representation and reality.