"People watch tv because it is below their intelligence. Moreover, they know it. Like pornography, tv shows something of what people want - without apology. The question of 'quality' is misleading. That is because tv concerns ritual more than it does thinking." — John Miller
"Arise from Graves and Aspire..." 1999
Following on the heels of exhibitions at the Magasin in Grenoble, France, and the Kunstverein in Hamburg, Germany, John Miller presents "Opposite Day" at Metro Pictures from 11 December to 22 January 2000.
In this new work, Miller focuses on the extreme exaggerations of tv game shows — the sadly unreal world of tacky sets, frenzied participants and smarmy hosts. In Miller's garishly-colored computer-generated paintings, background props from "The Price Is Right" are configured in a Stonehenge-like landscape and a hapless contestant becomes a cult figure. Motion-sensitive sound elements accompany some of the paintings. Sculptures include balls of plastic sunflowers (titled "Arise from the graves and aspire" from an Allen Ginsberg poem) and daisies. Using the detritus of kitsch culture as his raw material, Miller presents a sad picture of our spiritual and intellectual void.
Miller continues his 20-year-long plundering of the inherent language of our visual culture on an intellectual journey that has led him across a varied landscape of style, medium, form and appearance. In this quest he has painted small homely genre paintings and expressive brown abstractions, drawn sensitively rendered architectural examples, produced sculptures of accretions of objects and shapes covered in his signature excremental brown substance or colorful plastic fruit and flowers, photographed random locations and widely differing subjects at the shadowless, lunch-break period of the middle of the day.
Miller's efforts are steeped in complex explorations that are often difficult to discern and impossible to characterize into a neat identifiable style.
John Miller lives in New York, and after receiving a DAAD grant in 1992, spends part of the year in Berlin, and has exhibited often in European venues. Miller is a widely published writer and critic. He is currently a critic in sculpture at Yale University art school.
For more information please contact Jeff Gauntt or Samantha Christie at Metro Pictures (212) 206-7100
*The gallery will be closed from Dec. 24 to Jan. 3