Harland Miller is a British writer and artist, born in Yorkshire in 1964, best known for producing a series of paintings based on Penguin book covers, including International Lonely Guy and Fuck Art Let’s Dance. Miller’s work explores the relationship between words and images. His paintings, sculptures and mix-media artworks combine the two to comment on the frequent disconnect between representation and reality.

The Chelsea College of Art graduate did not achieve acclaim first through his art. Miller published ‘Slow Down Arthur, Stick to Thirty,’ in 2000, set in 1980s’ Yorkshire, a novel that takes a darkly comedic look at the New Wave. Miller has been largely informed in both his literary and artistic practices by works of fiction, achieving recognition in both cultural disciplines. Having lived and exhibited in Berlin, New Orleans and New York during the 1980s and 1990s, Miller was exposed to the works of artists revealing the consumerist ideologies permeating both the United States and Germany in the Post-War era, particularly after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1991. As such, Miller’s practice is centred around popular culture, using the covers of Penguin Books as a vehicle for literary ingenuity. In 2000 Miller also published a short novella entitled First I was Afraid, I was Petrified, which is based on the true story of a family member’s Obsessive Compulsive Disorder which prompted her to take Polaroids of the knobs of a cooker, Miller stumbled across this box of oddities. The artist’s fascination with the human psyche reverberates throughout his artistic practice, instilling his work with both satire and nostalgia.

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Harland Miller


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