Converge Gallery is excited to present the work of local artist and comedian, Curt Miller in his upcoming exhibition, “You’re Messin’ With The Wrong Guy.” Back in January, the public got a sneak peek of the work that would be featured in the upcoming July exhibition. Miller chose to examine the average, “tough guy,” persona and pair that with common pet peeves. The work is ironic in that tough guys in film and media are known for being hardworking, heroic at times, and without complaint. So, the thought of Marlin Brando or Willem Defoe, for example, sitting around complaining about the sound that people make when they chew their food seems eccentric. Since January, Miller has expanded on this concept and produced over 30 different, new pieces for this show. The exhibition opening will be held on Friday, July 22nd from 6-9pm. The exhibition runs from July 22nd – August 27th, 2016.
Local artist, Curt Miller, grew up in a time when there was always a tough guy, be it, in the cartoons that he watched, or on the teams he liked, and they fought on his side in any war when he went to see them in the movies. They were everywhere in pop culture. You wanted them to be because that is who you wanted to be. If a tough guy was around, you would defer to them. Not because they were bullies, but because a tough guy knew how to fight, they were confident, they didn’t complain and you could count on them. You could always be sure that John Wayne was going to ride in and save the day. Now you just know that his real name is Marion.
Miller can identify who his grandfather and father would have thought were tough guys. Of course he knew who he thought was tough, but can’t tell who his sons think are tough guys, nor can they, except for some people who temporarily inherit some superhero roles.
Miller states, we all wanted to grow up to be tough guys, and then all of a sudden no one did, or no one could be. The tough guy became a Joke as an internet meme, or he became culturally unacceptable, or impossible archetype to maintain. We look to other people to save the day now. There are some single mothers who kick butt more consistently than Clint Eastwood ever did.
Maybe we don’t need tough guys anymore.
Miller spent some time thinking about and trying to capture the likeness or caricatures of the tough guys that he is familiar with. There are still tough guys, but they don’t seem to be creating new ones. It seems that anyone we consider a tough guy seems to have been created before or around the turn of the century.
Miller tends to write things on the art that he creates. Mostly he writes his own ideas on them, but in this case he is also examining pet peeves. Miller spent a great deal of time trying not to be annoyed at things. He chose to assign random pet peeves to the caricatures for this exhibition.
The opening reception for “You’re Messin’ With The Wrong Guy,” will be held on Friday, July 22nd from 6-9pm. The artist will be in attendance during the opening to answer any questions. The exhibition runs from July 22nd – August 27th, 2016.
Converge Gallery is located at 140 West Fourth Street, Williamsport, PA and is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm and Saturday from 11:00 am – 6:00 pm. For more information on the gallery, please visit www.convergegallery.com
About the Artist
Curt Miller is a local artist from Montoursville that has lived in Pennsylvania his entire life. Miller works in oil pastel using a sgraffito technique. He scrapes into the surface of a scratchboard that is made by putting a dark value on top of a lighter value color of oil pastel. Miller has been creating works for over ten years now and exhibits at many craft and art fairs on the east coast.
Miller is best known for his figurative and expressionistic oil pastels. His subject matter leans towards the enigmatic, the thought provoking, and situations that are out of context. He interjects subtle humor and often flirts with the absurd, sometimes placing an emphasis on the title or the idea behind the painting rather than what is visually displayed. His art challenges and entertains, while at the same time appealing to the intellectual, the philosopher, the comedian, and the psychologist in us all.
“I used to do realistic paintings, but people never seemed to enjoy those, as much as they do the quirky little oil pastels with funny ideas written on them. I have a lot more fun doing them myself,” said Miller.
Miller hopes that his art can serve as some sort of beacon to let people know that they are not alone. More than anything, he hopes that you read the narrative on one of his pieces and ask, “What would make someone think of something like that.”
There is no shortage of artists who enjoy painting barns, cats and flowers and plenty of people who enjoy those things as well. Miller may choose the same subject matter, but he is more interested in exploring what went on in the barn, how much we did not like the cat or what the quality of life was for the people who did the flower arrangement. He is speaking to the existential, and to people who are searching for some deeper meaning and are wondering why they are so different from everyone else. You cannot hang Miller’s art on your wall without making a statement that you may have to explain or defend at some point.
Miller’s work is in private collections overseas, and throughout the United States.
About Converge Gallery
Converge Gallery was founded in 2011. The gallery, already internationally recognized for its ambitious program, has been extremely selective and focused on finding emerging or notable mid-career artists with an increasingly more conceptual direction oriented to display the most challenging and innovative art.
What we are trying to do, without any pretense to define art, is to elevate the discussion about art, reality, and perception. Converge Gallery’s goal is to sell the meaning, cultural context, and the individual point of view of the artist. Both artist and collector are encouraged to approach a certain level of aesthetic value, clarity of content, and vision.
The greatest achievement for us would be to extend the boundaries of art, and generate a conversation between artists and the general public.
For all press inquiries, photo requests and a PDF catalog of the exhibition, please contact John Yogodzinski, Director, Converge Gallery : firstname.lastname@example.org. Web: www.convergegallery.com. Tel: 570.435.7080 Address: Converge Gallery 140 West 4th Street, Williamsport, PA 17701, USA