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Exhibition of large format watercolours and collages by Johnny Miller opens at Galerie Barbara Thumm
Installation view.

BERLIN.- Johnny Miller is a master of melancholy and the grotesque.

For the first time Galerie Barbara Thumm is presenting a series of large format watercolours and collages. The personnel of his epic landscapes, of his collages and drawings consists of bizarre and tragic figures. They exhibit clownesque or animal-like features, are as small as midgets or big as giants. As agents of the subconscious, they represent diffidence in interpersonal encounters as well as physical and emotional inadequacies.

Miller’s very diverse pen-and-ink drawings, some of them featuring colour, frequently invite reading as reminiscences of the classical Japanese woodcut as well as to manga drawing. In addition to the fluid lines and the absence of a central focus in his pictures, he also favours the artistic depiction of his beings’ inner natures over their realistic representation. At the same time, in Miller’s style and subjects we find echoes of British illustrations and caricatures of the Victorian age. The mishaps and transformations taking place in the dream-like world of Alice in Wonderland.

Johnny Miller, who has lived and worked in Tokyo and Osaka for many years, is well acquainted with Japanese tattoo art. Despite the fact that tattoos are extremely popular among teenagers there, people wearing them are stigmatized because they are still strongly associated with the shadowy realm of a criminal milieu: the Yakuza.

Johnny Miller’s powerful and richly associative images accord us a glimpse of the land “through the looking glass”. It is a land of human yearning, of love and loss. Through the medium of drawing, practised by the artist with consummate craftsmanship and roothless humour, his bizarre scenes, his peculiar and tragic protagonists, and the sombre mood which envelops his worlds attain the greatest authenticity and intensity.

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Exhibition of large format watercolours and collages by Johnny Miller opens at Galerie Barbara Thumm

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