Incomplete, Overexposed, and Not to Scale: A Virtual Tour of Jesse Paul Miller's Open Studio Night, Thursday, December 5, 2002, with unauthorized commentary by zverina
question perception head case for the record smeary faces skullish personals matchmade pro(file) - the late 90s boom ghost ship skeleton suit (detail)
small sampling of wide range, i'd look for a while, walk away, come back and be amazed at how little i remembered because i'd seen so little. painted-on postcard, plastic sack of shattered record albums, CD drawn on w/ Sharpie, and other small works lovingly detailed and so unique impossible to pigeonhole in the brain. do we see what's really there or only what we expect because it's what we're used to seeing? i enjoy mr. miller's work because it forces me to question my perceptions. drawn-on newspaper crumpled into ball and wrapped in clear packing tape resembles a face. it doesn't take much--a suggestion of eyes, mouth. mommy?

i want to hold your head in my hands.

an old portable phonograph painted with exquisite detail, fine line reminiscent of oscilliscope wavering sound representation, on the platten a disk of cast plaster. this hangs vertically. there's a strange power in the object-ness of this thing, the nearly luminous record, thick, chipped, pitted, imagined sound of an archaelogical dig, brushing dust from the silent relic. not sure of the process here, maybe a tape lift, blurry impressions of shadowy portraits, rows and columns like office building edifice, occupants anonymous, translucent. where do bad folks go when they die? heaven, same as saints and unbelievers, blue sky, empty eyes, canvas torn from stretcher, neither flat nor flush with wall, more like a peeling poster for a show that never was. classified page from newspaper adorned with humanoid figures spouting words balloons like sperm, crossed messages hoping to find fallow ears, tails tangled, coercion of sellers, hope of buyers, the medium is humble material, bleached and flattened woodpulp, empty messages. lonely little multilegged matchbook creature, this work is meant to be suspended in a corner but here it sits on the floor, its wedge of sky landed, yearning to burn but inconspicuous.

how much of our feeling can an object absorb, and do we go on in it? they say the raw material of any human body can be found in a book of matches.

this is a detail of a large painting portraying seattle during the boom of the 1990's. money and drugs were flowing, cell phones were being unfolded, and the bubble kept floating as the poor were left behind in the rear view mirrors of luxury vehicles. note the empty eyes. page torn from a book about sailing ships, the vessel here blackened in with magic marker, becoming an exercise in negative space recognition. the sky as formed around the ship, defined by an absence. skeleton suit, the bones are visible through the layers of matter (in this case, pigment), vague implication of spacesuit, but could just as well be meat vessel for soul spark, similar to other work where medical diagrams are enhanced with fineline drawing of mechanical implants. what does it mean to be human?
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