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This Is Where It’s Fuckin At Harland Miller

Find out more about Harland Miller’s This Is Where It’s Fuckin At, browse prints & editions for sale & view the works wanted by active buyers right now.

This Is Where It’s Fuckin At is a signed screen print produced in a series of 50 in 2012. The print also comes as a deck chair, made in 2013, also in an edition of 50. The deck chair format is an interesting print variation that Miller favours for his Penguin book cover prints. The print depicts an old dust jacket of a Penguin book, with a monochrome background in pale blue with hints of grey. The print has an old feel to it, created through intentional smudges over the white band that runs across the print, on which the book’s title is printed. The tattered edges give the impression the book is from a second-hand shop, like those that Miller frequented on his travels around Europe.

This is Where It’s Fuckin At is part of the Penguin series, an impressive range of works that are all inspired by the dust jackets of old Penguin books. The inspiration for this series goes back to Miller’s childhood. Born and raised in Yorkshire in Northern England, Miller’s father used to collect Penguin books. As a child, Miller was surrounded by books and would excitedly wait for his father to come home from the Leeds’ salerooms to see what new finds he had purchased.

When Miller was living in Paris in 1992, he stumbled across a box of abandoned Penguin books. He was instantly drawn to them and decided to incorporate these classical books into his artistic practice. Miller started producing the Penguin series in 2001 and has continued creating these iconic prints which contributed significantly to his rise to fame. What makes these dust jackets unique is that Miller substitutes the book titles for his own witty titles, which often incorporate dark humour or sarcasm. Some of these works can also be seen as social commentaries or poignant social critiques, such as Heroin, It’s What Your Right Arms For which explores drug addiction.

Miller’s combination of text and image is inspired by the American pop artist, Ed Ruscha, who Miller encountered whilst working in New York and New Orleans during the 1980s and ’90s. After graduating from the Chelsea School of Art in 1988, Miller travelled throughout Europe and the United States, experiences which were fundamental in the development of his artistic career.

In fact, it was during his travels in Europe that Miller started creating his own book titles.  Miller adopted this technique when he was in Paris because he struggled to understand the French novel titles he encountered. This was an accidentally pivotal moment in his artistic career that strongly influenced his creative practice. He explains: “I invented a text that suggested a story – a whole narrative – which suggested the way in which I should paint the painting. I found that it seemed to be more interesting than what I’d been doing before.”

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