Adam Miller - Oasis

Oasis_for_web.jpg
Oasis_for_web.jpg

Adam Miller - Oasis

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Trained in Florence and elsewhere around Europe, Adam Miller combines his expert skill in classical composition and figuration with uniquely modern thematic concerns. The results are arresting critiques of the modern age that yearn for a simpler, more utopic time that exists only in the imaginary. In his series Among the Ruins, Miller lends his attention to the ecological and human costs of late capitalism.

In the work Oasis, Miller mingles classical style with contemporary subject matter. A triangular composition of familial bodies in the left foreground gives way to a window on the right. The window, constituted by the plant growth’s green edges, stares not upon a verdant Renaissance garden or a biblical tale, but upon a pipe gushing toxic sewage diverted from a faint industrial jungle. Oasis depicts a nuclear family as the barrier between interpersonal compassion and urban capitalistic destruction. Importantly, though, that barrier is permeable. The toxic waste feeds the groves from which the family plucks and consumes fruits. The family’s matriarch and breadwinner must feed her offspring via the diseased and ill-earned fruits of post-industrial and industrial capitalism. Miller suggests, then, that no true escape from modernity exists: in order to survive, the loving mother must split herself between spheres compassionate and personal on the one hand and violent and impersonal on the other. She must simultaneously ingratiate herself and her family with and distance them from the city’s influence.

The news is not all dour. The mixture of utopian yearnings and dystopian realities conveys more than a simple condemnation of the world’s current predicament; the dichotomy conveys the hope that, through a consciousness of where we are and where we want to be as a species, we may move closer to the yearned for, imaginary utopia and further from the well worn path to dystopia.