Michael Miller
Paintings


Artist statement & biography


Artist statement
Dazzle camouflage constitutes a visual paradox whereby concealment is achieved through the very act of revealing. It is this paradox that lies at the heart of my work. Revelation and concealment are inherent elements of the painting process: at every stage, the artist makes both conscious and unconscious decisions to include and exclude elements based on a range of criteria: social, political, aesthetic, philosophical, psychological and, in some cases, commercial. The incorporation of elements of dazzle camouflage can therefore be understood as a metaphor for the process of painting itself. Each work asks the viewer to consider not only what is revealed, but also what is concealed. This relationship between the seen and unseen, between that which is constituted and that which is destroyed, is underlined by the interplay of transparency and opacity in these works, and by ambiguity in the representation of space, the construction of depth and the definition of volumes. 

My interest in maritime themes is not by chance: I grew up in Glasgow, located on the River Clyde on the West coast of Scotland. It is estimated that over 25,000 ships have been built on the Clyde, and this shipbuilding heritage continues to permeate the life of the city. My father served in the British merchant navy and regularly sailed between Glasgow and New York City. 

Dazzle camouflage constitutes a visual paradox whereby concealment is achieved through the very act of revealing. It is this paradox that lies at the heart of my work. Revelation and concealment are inherent elements of the painting process: at every stage, the artist makes both conscious and unconscious decisions to include and exclude elements based on a range of criteria: social, political, historical, aesthetic, philosophical, psychological and, in some cases, commercial. The incorporation of elements of dazzle camouflage can therefore be understood as a metaphor for the process of painting itself. Each work asks the viewer to consider not only what is revealed, but also what is concealed. This relationship between the seen and unseen, between that which is constituted and that which is destroyed, is underlined by the interplay of transparency and opacity in these works, and by ambiguity in the representation of space, the construction of depth and the definition of volumes. 


Employing colour schemes selected to recall conditions in the North Atlantic, these works are intended not only to be monumental evocations of camouflaged vessels, but also to reference layers of history and hint at the communities that develop around, support and rely upon the shipping industry. 


My interest in maritime themes is not by chance: I grew up in Glasgow, located on the River Clyde on the West coast of Scotland. It is estimated that over 25,000 ships have been built on the Clyde, and this shipbuilding heritage continues to permeate the life of the city. My father served in the British merchant navy and regularly sailed between Glasgow and New York City. 

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Biography

Michael Miller, born in Glasgow, Scotland, trained in academic drawing at the Liceo Artistico Leon Battista Alberti in Florence, Italy, and subsequently in oil painting with the Laborarte Group in the same city. In 2006, he moved to Maputo, Mozambique, where he was heavily influenced by traditional designs, the work of local artists and, more generally, by the art and religious objects of Sub-Saharan Africa. While in Mozambique he also began to collect and experiment with natural pigments.

 

On moving to New York in 2010, Miller studied abstract painting, drawing and assemblage at the Art Students League of New York. In May 2012, he was awarded the League's Henri Matisse Estate Merit Scholarship.

 

Since moving to New York, Miller has become increasingly involved in community-based public art projects. He is a volunteer artist for Sing For Hope and the Lulu & Leo Fund, and from September 2012 to January 2015 he sat on the board of SONYA - South of the Navy Yards Artists - in Brooklyn. In 2014 he was selected as a visiting artist at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He currently sits on the Yard's Exhibitions Advisory Committee.

Miller has studied at the universities of Edinburgh, Leicester and Pennsylvania and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He has a doctorate in history and civilization from the European University Institute in Florence.

Exhibitions

23 July-8 September 2015: Layers (2-person show), Brooklyn Oenology (BOE), 209 Wythe Ave., Brooklyn, New York, USA;

5-21 June 2015: Sing For Hope piano installation, Inwood Hill Park, New York, USA;

9 May 2015: Making Waves (100 metre collaborative sidewalk chalk drawing), Lulu & Leo Fund, Riverside Park, New York, USA;  

21-23 February 2015: Dazzle (solo show), COEUR, 404 Event Space, 404 10th Avenue, New York, USA;

15-18 January 2015: Transition (group show), The Candy Factory, 124 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, USA;

26 April – 1 June 2014: Wide Open 5, (juried group show), Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition, Van Brunt Street, Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York, USA; 

17-18 May 2014: SONYA 15th Annual Art Walk and Preview Exhibition, The Candy Factory, 122 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, USA;

22 March-12 April 2014: Violet (group show), TRA Gallery, 35 Claver Place, Brooklyn, New York, USA;

13-17 February 2014: Art Wynwood (art fair, represented by Victori Contemporary), 3101 NE Art 1st Avenue, Miami, USA;

October 2013: Cherish Yesterday, Say Hello to Tomorrow (mural), SONYA/Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership, Willoughby Walk, Brooklyn, New York, USA;

24 October-7 November 2013: Yellow (group show), Freecandy, 905 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, USA;

3-6 October 2013: (e)merge (art fair, represented by Victori Contemporary), 10 "I" Street, Washington DC, USA;

27 September-1 November 2013: Ephemeral Planes (small group show), Buka, 945 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, USA;

27 June-14 July 2013: 2012 Merit Scholarship Winners Exhibition, Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery, 215 West 57th Street, New York, USA;

6-21 June 2013: The Red Dot Winners Exhibition, Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery, 215 West 57th Street, New York, USA;

8-9 June 2013: SONYA 14th Annual Studio Stroll, 47 Hall Street, Brooklyn, New York, USA;

1-16 June 2013: Sing For Hope piano installation, BLDG 92, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Flushing Avenue, New York, USA;

16 March-11 April 2013: Red (group show), Renate Albertsen-Marton Gallery, The Village@Gureje, 886 Pacific Street, Brooklyn, New York, USA;

26 February-1 March 2013: Gramercy Neighborhood Associates Annual Exhibit (group show), The National Arts Club, New York, USA;

4-9 February 2013: ASLNY Concours, Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery, Art Students League of New York, New York, USA;

10 January 2013: Artists for Cumbo (group show), Freecandy, 905 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, USA;

14 December 2012-1 February 2013, Rapport (group show), Luvtea, 14 Putnam Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, USA;

1-2 December 2012: Hurricane Sandy Community Mural, SONYA/Brooklyn Jubilee, 2828 Neptune Avenue, Coney Island, New York, USA;

17 November-6 December 2012: Blue (group show), TRA Gallery, 35 Claver Place, Brooklyn, New York, USA;

13 November, 2012: Brooklyn Loves Brooklyn, Artists Benefit for Post-hurricane Relief, Irondale Center, 85 South Oxford Street, Brooklyn, New York, USA;

8-9 September 2012: GO! Brooklyn, Brooklyn Museum open studio event, 47 Hall Street, Brooklyn, New York, USA;

4-15 June 2012: The Red Dot Winners Exhibition, Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery, 215 West 57th Street, New York, USA;

9-10 June 2012: SONYA 13th Annual Studio Stroll, 47 Hall Street, Brooklyn, New York, USA;

21-25 May 2012: Gramercy Neighborhood Associates Annual Art Exhibit (group show), National Arts Club, 15 Gramercy Park South, New York, USA;

16 April 2012: We Heart Art (solo show), Empire Hotel Rooftop, 44 West 63rd Street, New York, USA;

2-7 April 2012: ASLNY Concours, Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery, Art Students League of New York, New York, USA (awarded 2 jury's "blue dots" for highly commended work);

31 March 2012: HarvestedFreshART (group show), Studio 580, 580 8th Avenue, New York, USA;

17-23 March 2012: ASLNY Concours, Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery, Art Students League of New York, New York, USA (awarded jury's "blue dot" for highly commended work);

4-11 February 2012: ASLNY Concours, Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery, Art Students League of New York, New York, USA.

27 January-17 February 2012: Monitors' Show, Art Students League of New York, New York, USA;

1 December 2011–19 January 2012: 3rd Annual Small Works Show (group show), Office of the President of the Borough of Manhattan, New York, USA;

6 December 2011: Sunset Rising, Annual Benefit Auction, New York Art Residency and Studio (NARS) Foundation, Brooklyn, New York, USA;

4-7 December 2011: Holiday Salon, Lesley Heller Workspace, 54 Orchard Street, New York, USA;

7 April 2011: Art for Japan: A New York City Artists Benefit, Studio 57 Fine Arts, New York, USA;

4-9 April 2011: ASLNY Concours, Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery, Art Students League of New York, New York, USA (awarded jury's "blue dot" for highly commended work);

13-19 March 2011: ASLNY Concours, Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery, Art Students League of New York, New York, USA;

December 2010–January 2011: 2nd Annual Small Works Show (group show), Office of the President of the Borough of Manhattan, New York, USA;

June 2009: Acrylics 2007-2009 (solo show), Association Dialogai, Geneva, Switzerland;

June 2007: Acrylics 2006-2007 (solo show), Association of Mozambican Photographers, Maputo, Mozambique;

June 2005: LABORARTE Annual Show (group show), Florence, Italy;

June 2004: “LABORARTE Annual Show (group show), Florence, Italy.