5 Year Print Market Review 2023

Incurable
Romantic Seeks Dirty Filthy Whore

Miller's subversive Penguin Classic covers feature edgy humour and playful titles. He began this practice while strolling around Parisian second-hand bookshops. A prime example of his amusingly foul-mouthed humour in these works are his multiple versions of Incurable Romantic seeks Dirty Filthy Whore, ranging from faithful classic covers to wacky, geometric versions.

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Meaning & Analysis

A prime example of Miller’s biting humour, Incurable Romantic seeks Dirty Filthy Whore, is characteristic of his entire oeuvre. His Penguin series began in 2001 and epitomises Miller's naughty creativity. In this series, Miller adapts and transforms the covers of Penguin Clasics by creating his own ironic titles and reimagined novels, a practice that stemmed from his time wandering around second-hand bookshops in Paris and coming across French titles that he could not translate, but still evoked a sense of keen nostalgia.

Incurable Romantic Seeks Dirty Filthy Whore has multiple versions within the series, each of which preserves the title and book format but with the text shown across different abstract background colours and formations. In the screen print from 2010, Miller maintains the simple book cover design, with the title text in bold red in the centre of the composition. The digital print version from 2011 stands out from the others in this series and other Penguin dust jackets due to its unconventional background. This particular Miller print uses a geometrical illusion composed of colourful circles and lines in this print, instead of the simple, monochrome cover that he usually favours. The original oil painting for this digital pigment print is currently held in a Private Collection after being in the possession of Ingleby Gallery in Edinburgh, who had purchased it for Miller’s exhibition Harland Miller: Overcoming Optimism in 2012–13.

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