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BIOGRAPHY

Harland Miller is a writer and painter most known for his reproductions of Penguin book jackets and his sly, frequently sinister sense of humor. Miller's paintings, prints, sculptures, and mixed-media artworks, which frequently contain undercurrents of sarcasm and self-deprecation, examine the connection between word and picture in order to comment on the common discrepancy between representation and reality.

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North Yorkshire is where Harland Miller was born on March 11th, 1964. In an effort to uncover a rare first edition among vintage car manuals and periodicals, his father purchased and gathered books (which, according to Miller, "he never did"). However, books would turn into a recurrent motif in Miller's artwork. I believe I had to experience both high and low culture at that young age before I could tell them apart. The artist later remarked, "I suppose that's left me with a lasting impression."

Harland Miller began his career as a writer even though his prints and paintings are now his most well-known works. He released two books in 2000: Slow Down Arthur, Stick To Thirty, a coming-of-age tale set in 1980s Yorkshire, and First I Was Afraid, I Was Petrified, a novella based on an obsessional compulsive disease in a family member. He now enjoys "imagining a book I had previously written and then painting it" for his imaginary Penguin covers.

Between 1984 through 1988, Miller attended Chelsea College of Art in London. He has also resided in New York, Berlin, and Paris. His initial paintings were melodramatic portrayals of men and women that drew inspiration from "B-movie imagery" and the book covers of Pulp Fiction. His picture International Lonely Guy was later inspired by the loneliness he experienced while residing in New York.

Miller discovered a box of vintage Penguin novels while residing in Paris. It was a "eureka moment" and the beginning of his first paintings for Penguin, which were influenced by the Penguin Classics collection's 1950s and 1960s paperback covers. By revealing ragged edges, dog-eared pages, and the sporadic coffee stain, Miller allowed his imitations to take on a life of their own and elevate them from fiction into reality.

The best-known works by Miller are his parodies of well-known Penguin book covers, such as Fuck Art Let's Dance. These pieces of art blend Pop Art, abstraction, and figurative painting to produce a new, colossal piece that is equally nostalgic and hilarious. Miller uses his instantly recognizable covers as a platform for his sarcastic views and clever puns.

Miller reproduces his paintings in vast quantities for his prints using polymer-gravure, photo-etching, block printing, and silkscreen, while also avoiding perfect mechanical reproduction by making subtle variances on each sheet.

Miller organized his first significant group exhibition in London, entitled "You Dig The Tunnel, I'll Hide The Soil," at White Cube in 2008 after serving as Writer in Residence at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in Boston in 2002. The exhibition includes pieces by 34 artists, including Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, Jake and Dinos Chapman, and others.

Then came other exhibitions, swiftly. Don't Let The Bastards Cheer You Up was the headline of Miller's solo exhibition in 2009 at Gateshead's BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. 2010 saw the opening of his first exhibition in Amsterdam, "I'll Never Forget What I Can't Remember," at Reflex Amsterdam. Three years later, Miller had his first solo exhibition in Hong Kong after having his debut exhibition, "Tonight We Make History (P.S. I Can't Be There)," in Berlin in 2016.

Miller presented a solo show at York Art Gallery in 2020. Miller's memoir, "York, So Good They Named It Once," is centered on his boyhood experiences in Yorkshire. The artist stated, "I believe most people have a love-hate relationship with their hometown... and I believe I do too, but only without the hate."

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