For being voted the Best Visual Artist for the past two years in LEO Weekly Readers’ Choice Awards, Douglas Miller sure is quiet. So much so that I mistook another man to be him at the opening reception of his current exhibit Old & New Drawings at the Patio Gallery in the Jewish Community Center. The other man was talking passionately and brimming over with excitement. Miller stood listening with his hands in his pockets and a pleasant smile on his face. His work that adorns the walls is a lot like him. No pretense just uncomplicated realness. Old & New Drawings is a compilation of Miller’s work from the past and present of animals drawn on paper.
Miller has a gift of creating animals with such realism that the only thing that keeps them from leaping off the paper is their half-drawn body that he’s chosen to illustrate with simple contour lines. Miller says in his statement, “The objective of correction fascinates me. Seemingly, this idea of refinement relies on an elusive pursuit for perfection. I rely more on provisionality and possibilities than on completed resolutions. Throughout my work, I attempt to discern the impulse of correction and reevaluate the influence of logic.” Miller uses ink, pencil, acrylic, pen, tea, make-up, and even coffee grounds to bring his imperfect zoo to life. He has exhibited at C.A.V.E. Gallery in California, the 930 Art Center and he is a favorite at Quill’s Coffee Gallery, which may explain the inclusion of coffee grounds in some of his pieces.
Seeing Miller’s work in person will convince you of the pure beauty of creation itself. There isn’t any statement of impeding extinction, abuse, or scientific experimentation of these animals, just a study of sorts for the viewer to take notice of the uniqueness and awe of the animal kingdom.
Douglas Miller, "How we meet our history"
Old & New Drawings by Douglas Miller is on view at the Patio Gallery, 3600 Dutchmans Lane, until February 21st.
title photo: Douglas Miller, "When you look at the clouds, I remind myself of your convincing music"