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Art Let’s Dance

Harland Miller's print series, Fuck Art, Let’s Dance, celebrates a treasured part of British heritage, appropriating the familiar and loved format of the Penguin book covers. He forges his own aesthetic, blending the familiar format with his bold and sardonic titles, to shock and amuse the viewer. Offensive language, as seen in Fuck Art, Let’s Dance is paradigmatic of Miller’s artistic practice; Miller explains its effectiveness, stating “people read before they can stop themselves.”

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Meaning & Analysis

Miller at his finest, Fuck Art, Lets Dance is part of a diptych that epitomises the artist’s mischeviousness and use of the penguin jacket format.

Fuck Art, Let’s Dance was first exhibited alongside its counterpart Fuck Dancing, Let’s Fuck, and these works celebrate a treasured part of British heritage in their appropriation of the familiar Penguin Classic Jacket, whilst simultaneously forging a fresh interpretation of that aesthetic with sardonic titles and offensive language. Miller explains, “people read before they can stop themselves."

An interest in literature and writing have long been an integral part of Miller’s practice, in fact he first became critically acclaimed as a writer, with Slow Down Arthur, Stick to Thirty (2000), the semi-autobiographical story of a travelling David Bowie impersonator, receiving positive reviews from the British press.

Miller continued to publish shorter novels such as First I Was Afraid, I Was Petrified (2001), as well as starting to incorporate language directly into his paintings and prints, making his witty titles their central element. He did a Writer’s Residency at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston in 2002, devoting a season to curating workshops and events around the oeuvre of 19th century British author Edgar Allan Poe. His interest in Poe continued until in 2008, he curated the Poe-inspired group exhibition with 35 artists (including popular YBAs such as Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin) called You Dig the Tunnel, I’ll Hide the Soil at the White Cube shown across multiple London venues.