Gregory Miller, from Taxidermy, 2007

Art Blog // Gregory Miller

Atlanta-based photographer, Gregory Miller seems to be very comfortable having a point of view behind the camera. He almost expresses his personal feelings through his lighting choices and subject positioning. He is ingrained in the minutiae of the offices, studios and workplaces of his subjects' lives. He nearly brings chairs, papers, lamps, and filing cabinets to life with human qualities.

Where another photographer may be pleased with the lines and dimension of a formal composition shot, Miller looks further to the voice of the arrangement, as though he sees the history and life of the objects in our otherwise human world. He treats a hanging electrical outlet like an old general's gun or our grandfather's pocket-watch. He makes us believe in more than just its objecthood.

Most recently, Miller has completed a personal study of taxidermist Ed Thompson, formerly of the Fernbank Science Center in Atlanta. Miller spent two days shooting in Thompson's home where he continues his work, and displays some of his most prized pieces.

Rhinos, birds, water buffalo, and various wild cats and Bovidae, Thompson's work is a life's passion. Seemingly, every inch of his home is filled with the petrified beasts, arching their necks from dark, wood-panel walls, wings springing from every corner. Thompson makes his dark and intriguing craft vulnerable to Miller's curious eye. And Miller seems enthralled by this trove of savage art.

Miller lays a dusty, mid-day light over the still menagerie, exposing the life of each animal in an instant. It's disarming. Both artists treat the work with a lightness, as though it were model airplanes in a tinker's garage, enabling an anxious viewer to wonder at the overwhelming sense of curiosity present in these images.

Both Thompson and Miller interact with a fascination usually seen in young children. Thompson offers a handful of marble eyeballs from a drawer, and Miller snaps away as if asking more and more questions. Miller's appreciation of the experience comes through clearly in the documentation.

Miller's promotional poster of the study, a two-sided spread featuring twenty photographs from his visits, will appear in Communication Arts' Jan/Feb Exhibits section. The backside of the poster offers a selection of Thompson and Miller's conversations, giving voice to the interactions hinted at in the images.

Miller continues his studies of designers and architects, most recently in New York City, and offers a generous amount of work-in-progress on his blog.


Gregory Miller: Taxidermy


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