Harland Miller 1964 – present

The work of Harland Miller will be on exhibit at the 2022 Edition 7 of London’s Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair. The four-day event is not just a show of works by fine print artists; it’s also a chance for lovers  of fine art prints to see artists at work and take part in interactive talks and programs. The fair runs from November 3rd through November 6th.

Miller was born in North Yorkshire in 1964 and moved to London to attend the Chelsea School of Art. He earned his bachelor’s and a masters degree in Fine Art and moved to New York, then Paris.

Living in Paris made him a bit homesick, which led him to an English-language book shop near Notre Dame. He found comfort in the language and covers of the used Penguin books that that were on sale in the shop.

He began to make paintings of the covers, using his love of language, humor and a sense of nostalgia to create very relatable paintings and prints. The works, he says, are, “meant to evoke a ‘knackered’ book cover when you’ve swatted flies with it or it’s been in your back pocket or your back sack. That’s what I’m trying to capture when I paint the picture and it would be terrible to lose that.”

Miller says that he loves the differences that appear with each screenprint produced. “Each one is slightly different to the other one so they have a very particular feel about them. You just don’t get that with anything else.”

His sardonic sense of humor for the ‘book titles’, the colors he chooses, combined with the choice of typography and layout, convey Miller’s feeling about the work to the viewer.

The process that begins each large-scale work is a linocut, etching or block printing, followed by running each work through a dozen or more colors about 1500 times before completing a series a few dozen screenprints.

Works like Armageddon….Is it too much to ask? and Thought After Filthy Thought are available at VFA.

AI Art Images…Art or not art?

In the late 1960s, British artist Harold Cohen created AARON, a computer program designed to produce art using artificial intelligence (AI). He spent nearly thirty years at the University of California in San Diego working on AARON. His early program produced simple black and white drawings, which Cohen finished by painting them.

Technology has come a long way since, and now the public has access to apps like DALL-E, Midjourney, StyleGAN, and Stable Diffusion. The apps have large data bases that can produce images with ‘prompts.’

The apps can be useful for designers, but will they replace artists? Many of the images used by the apps are existing artworks. An AI generated portrait, created by a Paris-based firm called Obvious, sold for $432,500, almost 45 time its estimate, at Christie’s, in 2018. The portrait, titled Edmond de Belamy is a composite of already existing portraits, printed on canvas.

It will be interesting to see how AI art will affect copyright laws, which the Supreme Court is grappling with this week in the case of Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts v. Goldsmith.

It’s fun to put words together e.g., “1960’s art of cow getting abducted by UFO in midwest” and get an image. But artists do so much more.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the art of Harland Miller or any of the other fine artists, whose work is available at VFA.


References:
Peter Carey. Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair November 2022: All You Need to Know. Photo Bite. October 24, 2022.
Artspace Editors. Harland Miller on Art, Life & Everything In Between. Artspace. August 18, 2022.
Kevin Roose. A.I.-Generated Art Is Already Transforming Creative Work. The New York Times. October 21, 2022.
Marco Donnarumma. AI Art Is Soft Propaganda for the Global North. Hyperallergic. October 24, 2022.