‘Brevity is no strength of mine’
Considered something of a polymath, Harland Miller is a British artist and writer that reimagines classic Vintage Penguin Book covers with his own sardonic titles. The artist works in a variety of mediums from hand-finished screen-prints to large-scale canvases and is influenced by the form and colour of Abstract Expressionism as well as the playfulness of pop art. Miller’s artworks are often as witty as they are visually striking and are collected around the globe by critics and celebrities alike with George Michael, Sir Elton John, and Ed Sheeran all acquiring works for their collection.
Born in Yorkshire in 1964, Miller graduated from Chelsea School of Art in 1988 with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. Following his time at university, Miller began travelling the world, living in London, New York, Berlin and Paris. In 1987, Miller had his first ever solo exhibition at the Diorama in London. He then went on to New York where he would exhibit as a solo artist at Prisunic Gallery in 1990 and 1991. Widening his French audience, with thanks to his shows at Prisunic Gallery, Miller then moved to Paris where he had three more solo exhibitions over the next five years. During this period, Miller also spent a year living in Berlin, which is where he embarked upon his writing career.
Although establishing himself as an artist, Miller first won critical acclaim as a writer, with his debut novel, Slow Down Arthur, Stick to Thirty, being published in 2000. Later that year, he also published At First I was Afraid, I was Petrified - a visually led book that is considered short study of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The work’s sardonic title, borrowed from the Gloria Gaynor song, is echoed in the title of one of Miller’s later artworks, with puns and wordplay being the basis of many of the artist’s work.
In 2001, Miller produced the first of his iconic series of Penguin Book covers and was immediately struck by the visceral nostalgia of it. Consequently, Miller has spent the past two decades developing his satirical take on the books, marrying his love for words and art. Throughout his career so far, Miller has had over fifteen solo exhibitions and has been involved in around thirty group exhibitions in renowned institutions from around the world, including White Cube, London, Royal Academy of Arts, Somerset House and Blain/Southern in Berlin.
Over his career, Miller has amassed a diverse collector base ranging from famous art dealers including Jay Joplin to world renowned musicians like Angus Young, George Michael, Ed Sheeran and Sir Elton John.