A growing number of celebrities have chosen to buy Harland Miller art, and his name is reaching new heights in the contemporary world as a result. Below, we take a closer look at who is choosing to invest in Harland Miller and why.
Celebrity collectors include the likes of Elton John and AC/DC guitarist Angus Young, but why does Harland Miller art appeal so strongly to musicians?
“Part of the cleverness of Miller’s work is that his art continues working, when the viewer is not in front of it,” writes author Martin Herbert. “it runs through one’s head like music does, and leverages the fact that it is literally legible.”
Several pieces broke artist records at Christie’s auction of the late George Michael’s collection, including Harland Miller artwork ‘Incurable Romantic Seeks Dirty Filthy Whore’ (2007) which piece sold for £237,500, far surpassing the artist’s previous auction record of £75,000 achieved in 2015. ‘Death – What’s In It For Me?’ was also auctioned, raising a similarly impressive £212,500.
George Michael decided to buy Harland Miller art for his Hampstead home over a decade ago, purchasing both works in 2007 when they were first created. ‘Incurable Romantic Seeks Dirty Filthy Whore’ had reportedly hung pride of place the hallway of his home, suggesting that the singer purchased the piece on aesthetic grounds, rather than purely as an investment.
Fellow pop star Ed Sheeran is also a keen collector, buying work by various artists including Harland Miller. Sheeran’s father was an art historian, and it seems the musician has inherited the same passion.
Sheeran told BBC Radio 4: “I bought this guy called Harland Miller, who puts really offensive slogans on Penguin books, I’ve got pretty much the most offensive word you can have huge in my house. That’s something I really buzz off, I really like.”
Described as an “it guy,” Miller’s friendship group is said to include renowned art dealer Jay Jopling, musician Jarvis Cocker and artist Max Wigram, who claims: “Harland never follows fashion, fashion has followed him.” Not surprisingly then, Harland Miller art also features in the homes of supermodels.
“I love art,” Brooklyn Decker recently stated. “If I had more walls, this whole house would be brimming with art.”
She told Architectural Digest she is “a huge Harland Miller fan. I love the scale of his paintings, and his work just makes me laugh.”
London-based interior designer Tara Bernerd counts the artist as a friend and collaborator. For instance, she recently designed the SIXTY SoHo in New York, which features an exclusive Harland Miller art collection in each guest room.
Bernerd also has works by the artist in her own personal collection. She names ’Love, A Decisive Blow Against If’ as the favourite piece of art hung in her home.
“Harland is a great friend, as well as a British super-talent, and the words themselves speak volumes, as I am someone who chooses not to live my life by saying “what if”.”
Naturally, the corporate collection of Penguin Random House has also chosen to invest in Harland Miller art.
Miller was initially concerned about the publishing house taking legal action against him for copyright infringement, but instead Penguin Random House commissioned a new series of works to hang in its offices around the world.
“What I love in Harland’s work is that, although it’s obviously his take on the Penguin design heritage, it is amazingly true to the spirit of the Penguin cover,” explains chairman John Makinson. “They’re sardonic, playful, ironic… but they’re mostly rather beautiful images.”
Many collectors and admirers are looking to buy Harland Miller art as an investment, as his unique take on classic literary iconography gathers enormous demand.
Here at Maddox Gallery, we are delighted to stock his work. To find out more, please visit one of our galleries or get in touch to speak with one of our Sotheby’s-trained art consultants.
Written by James Nicholls, Chairman, Maddox Gallery.