Whopping 77 paintings plaster the walls of CES Gallery in Easton Miller’s I’m Already Dead in Dog Years. The effect is comparable to the jam-packed display found in an H&M store. Like the fast fashion retailer outlet where every piece of clothing appears identical at first sight, Millers’ paintings, despite their boldly articulated differences, feel strangely singular. Together, these paintings create visual cohesion, which is peculiarly playful and entertaining.
Like fashion houses with their signature cut, Miller brand repurposes two distinct motifs: rhythmically draping party ribbons seen in Sophisticated Enough, and cartoonish upside down drooping phallic mountains dotting I Knew There’d Be Tomorrow. Thickly materialized with impasto or flatly actualized with clean strokes, these designs are simultaneously least serious and most amusing. In one instance, unintelligible Buff Monster meets fleshy Philip Guston; in another, colors of Hans Hofmann exercise a logo design.
The allure of Miller’s paintings is only surface deep. Their appearance is what matters. Critical conversations are hard to find. The mandate, therefore, is to simply enjoy and have fun. Miller is frankly unpretentious. Though abstraction process dominates in these paintings, they seem to refrain from participating in the market hungry for ostensibly profound abstract paintings. Miller is essentially making outsider art and having a good time.
He might be old enough to be dead in dog years. Even so, a jolly youthful vibe, no matter the age, hustles for attention. Respond in kind.
Easton Miller’s I’m Already Dead in Dog Years is on view at CES Gallery until September 12, 2015. It’s a FUN-DEAD-OR-ALIVE.
All images courtesy of gallery.