Five Ring Circus

Five Ring Circus
Signed Print

Harland Miller

Giclée print, 2012
Signed Print Edition of 50
H 97cm x W 66cm

Critical Review

When asked where the titles from his books originate from, Miller says “nowhere in particular. Everywhere, anywhere.” He prefers for the viewer to connect to the phrases personally, and draw their own individual interpretations rather than imposing his own meaning upon them. The titles are often provocative or poignant, subversively sociopolitical, sometimes referencing the original author, whilst at other times, as seen in the present work, citing Miller himself as their creator instead. The text takes precedent in his book cover works, as Miller explains, “people read before they can stop themselves.” He continues, “you can really say anything you wanted in the middle panel, because people are already used to the form of the Penguin book, so in that way the text carried more weight than the painting.” Taking inspiration in Five Ring Circus from his cultural and geographical heritage, Miller offers a sardonic title that is typically humorous, laced with underlying violence and sarcasm.

Miller’s book cover works have become hugely desirable with collectors. His work is also found in the private collections of established celebrities and corporate collections. In much the same way that revolutionary paperbacks themselves were sought after in the 1930s and ’40s, Miller’s works have adopted a similarly desirable collectability today, occupying a significant place in the contemporary art marketplace and the artist himself staking his name within the trajectory of hugely successful and important British artists.

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