Michael Miller
Paintings


Vessel

Vessel incorporates a suitcase painted in a dazzle pattern of black, white and blue, on a stand of an identical blue. In its relative dimensions and form, the case (a vintage “Revelation” model that resolutely conceals its contents) is suggestive of a ship - an ocean-going vessel. In addition, the case contains a reservoir of Atlantic seawater. While this water cannot be seen, its movement can be perceived when the case is picked up from its stand. The work is, therefore, also an object that contains liquid – a vessel.

The choice of a suitcase was informed by a curious US Navy photograph from March 1920 depicting a solitary patient at the Navy Yard Infirmary engaged in camouflaging a case. The caption to this image reads: “U.S. Naval Hospital Navy Yard, New York, 3-9-20, F920 N1893, Occupational therapy, camouflaging suitcase. Lesson in colors.” 

Vessel incorporates a suitcase painted in a dazzle pattern of black, white and blue, on a stand of an identical blue. In its relative dimensions and form, the case (a vintage “Revelation” model that resolutely conceals its contents) is suggestive of a ship - an ocean-going vessel. In addition, the case contains a reservoir of Atlantic seawater. While this water cannot be seen, its movement can be perceived when the case is picked up from its stand. The work is, therefore, also an object that contains liquid – a vessel.

 

The choice of a suitcase was informed by a curious US Navy photograph from March 1920 depicting a solitary patient at the Navy Yard Infirmary engaged in camouflaging a case. The caption to this image reads: “U.S. Naval Hospital Navy Yard, New York, 3-9-20, F920 N1893, Occupational therapy, camouflaging suitcase. Lesson in colors.”

 

US Navy Photography, courtesy of Records Management & Archives, Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation.