Saturday, May 05, 2007

Harland Miller's big penguins

Here's a thing in the Guardian about Harland Miller, an author and painter who, in his painterly guise, creates huge covers for non-existent Penguin/Pelican classics, including Hemingway's I'm So Fucking Hard and D.H. Lawrence's Dirty Northern Bastard.

Miller is interviewed here by Jarvis Crocker Cocker, who starts off sounding like a parody of a pseudo-intellectual rockstar dimwit ("Oh yeah, I've written about Sheffield. 'Sheffield, Sex City' - a title as inappropriate as some of yours. I suppose, whether you like it or not, you are formed by early experience. Have you made a painting about Sheffield?"), but who mostly calms down and lets his subject do the talking.

I liked this, from Miller:
I think much sociopolitical art delivers truisms that are quite flat. I saw something recently that read "Men and women are equal", and then "Like hell they are!" People tend to read something like that in a gallery and nod, as though the act of agreement makes them kind of active in the debate, when it's more that they - the converted - have been ... not enraged so much as assuaged. Because they agree. There's no dialogue in that.
Which, I guess, a lot of people will read and nod, as though the act of agreement makes them kind of active in the debate, but it's good to see it put so plainly.

2 comments:

john macdonald said...

Cocker. Jarvis Cocker.

nathan said...

Oops. Changed. Thanks, John.