Galeria Tempo, Rio de Janeiro
November 24, 2011 – January 28, 2012
The exhibition, “Fashion Animal” juxtaposes x-rays of animals from the Brazilian Amazon with a collection of the artist’s x-ray images from the world of high fashion. In August, Miller worked with the Instituto Guildi in Belem to create a series of x-ray images revealing the extraordinary beauty of Brazil’s biodiversity. This work is an extension of his project “Saude do Planeta” which began with x-ray images of Amazon plants in 2007. The simple clarity of these new animal images in black and white creates a dynamic visual foil to the brilliant color in his prints of hand bags, shoes and jewelry. Some things have meaning in and of themselves and some things have meaning because we create, assign, and then to subscribe to it as well as having others to subscribe along with us. The animals, especially the predatory ones like piranhas, exist to eat, avoid being eaten, reproduce, and, perhaps, clean the river in a process that is their function. The shoes and purses, etc. are far at the other end of the spectrum. They have their own exoticism, their own rarity and cache. They are physically manufactured and their meaning is entirely manufactured. It’s interesting to think that contemporary culture would put more stock in the items with manufactured meaning than those that are magnificently, organically present and just in a state of BEING. Fashion worlds and animal worlds have their own cycles of desire, consumption, and change. Both have the pull and seductiveness of treasure. In Fashion there can be a ferocity, an edge, a certain pain and hunger which are also present in the animal world. The sheer range that exists in the world that can encompass both the “Sloth Pieta” and “Vivier Shoes” is a reflection of our and interdependency, global complexity and astounding beauty.
Over the past 25 years, Steve Miller has presented 33 solo exhibitions at institutions in the United States, China, France, and Germany. His exhibitions have been reviewed in Le Monde, Süddeutsche Zeitung, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, ArtForum, ARTnews, and Art in America. Miller was one of the first artists to experiment with computers in the early 1980’s, and his work today continues to integrate science and technology with fine art. Using the lens of technology Miller reinvents at the traditional painted portrait, the world of fashion, particle physics, molecular biology and the world environmental crisis. His current project, entitled “Health of the Planet,” is about the rainforest in Brazil.
ISTOÉ, Vivo ou Morto, December 21, 2011