The Me I Never Knew is a signed screen print, edition of 50 signed, dated and numbered by the artist. It features a bold red-and-blue background with the title, Miller himself as author and Penguin Plays at the top.
With its humorous, ironic title and vibrant backdrop, The Me I Never Knew is a brilliant edition from Harland Miller’s Penguin series, inspired by the colourful and familiar designs of Penguin classics books and hijacking the well-known format with his satirical titles. “I discovered the Pelicans, which were colour coded. It changes the way you read the text,” explains Miller, referring to his exploration of the relationship between text, image, reality and representation in the Penguin Series through choosing specific coloured background for his titles and hereby manipulating the ways in which the audience processes certain works. The Me I Never Knew features bright, Pop colours that give it a punchy, playful finish – however if the same title had darker and more sinister background, that would inherently influence the way the message would be perceived by its audience.
This element of his practice is heavily influenced by artist Mark Rothko, who is interested in a similar effect through his use of colour in his enigmatic, powerful Colour Field paintings. Miller’s reference to Pop Art becomes apparent through the Penguin Series’ challenge to concepts of authorship and authenticity, as well as the aim to bridge High and Low culture which the books themselves have represented for Miller since a young age, having grown up in industrial Yorkshire, Northern England.