When looking at Easton Miller’s paintings, one gets the sense that there is seriousness within the lighthearted layers of paint, vibrant colors and an array of textures. Miller is bright and talented and definitely making a name for himself in the art world. With a solo show at the Pariah Gallery in Dallas, Texas titled, “You Make Plans, God Laughs” and his previous solo show titled, “I’m Already Dead in Dog Years” at CES Gallery in Los Angeles, Miller’s use of words and the importance they cast upon his paintings starts to become a little more clear. He refers to his paintings as, “Portraits of Circumstance” because he lets the titles of his paintings dictate their outcome. He acquires the words and phrases used for his titles throughout his day to day life, jotting down in his notebook anything that sounds good or that grabs his attention. Increasingly modern yet borrowing various characteristics from notable painters and sculptors, Miller’s work stands out from the bunch as uniquely tactile with a great sense of movement. Miller generously sat down with CULTURE to answer a few questions and talk about his art.
“Medical or otherwise—I think [cannabis] makes just as much, if not more, sense (in terms of it’s legality) than alcohol.”
Why are you so awesome?
Haha, because I paid around $50 to become awesome over a decade ago! Turns out, if you pay the court fees etc. and then publish your original name AND your new name in a public forum for two weeks to prove you’re not evading taxes etc. then you’re all set under the law. At least, this was the case in Indiana where I grew up. So, I went from Easton Andrew Kittinger Miller to Easton Awesome Kittinger Miller . . . becoming LEGALLY awesome. It was a no brainer.
What’s the most normal thing you do?
Hmmm, the last time I dressed in drag I wore a “natural” colored wig . . . Does that count?
If you had a life motto what would it be?
“Just Do It,” but that one might already be taken.
Talk a bit about the work here?
All of the work I make is created using the same ideological/quotidian method. Though, there have definitely been different aesthetic approaches to the visual lexicon of symbols that I’ve been developing over my lifetime depending on where my head and heart are at any given point in my life. The basic root of how I decide what works to create come from carrying a small notebook with me everywhere that I go, and writing down anything I hear. It can be something interesting, hilarious, upsetting, thought provoking etc. I then use various materials to create a visual representation of these phrases/quotes. The works become this visual representation of non-sequitur narratives that mirror society’s curated existence through social media.
What are your thoughts on medical cannabis?
Medical or otherwise—I think [cannabis] makes just as much, if not more, sense (in terms of it’s legality) than alcohol.
Do you find it provides some advantages in terms of your creative process?
I’ve never been a big fan of the idea that weed is responsible for creativity, but I can’t speak to that for anyone other than myself. If someone wants to smoke because it relaxes them, decreases their anxiety, etc.—which allows for there creative juices to flow in a less encumbered way—by all means do so. I’m of the mentality that ascribing the struggle of creating something meaningful to the effects of marijuana is a fairly narrow sighted way of approaching things. That is just something you do or don’t do, but it’s not what should be defining your practice as an artist.
What can we expect to see from you in the coming year?
The first major thing I have coming up in 2017 will be my second solo exhibition with Carl E. Smith Gallery opening in the upcoming spring. I’ve been working on this show for over a year, and I am very excited to finally be putting this work in front of people in a tangible way.