EILEEN WEST GALLERY
CONTEMPORARY AND OUTSIDER ART
R. A. MILLER (1912-2006)
He farmed, worked in the cotton mills, and preached for the Free Will Baptist Church. His eyes began to fail and R A turned to art to express himself. He started making "whirligigs" out of any materials he could find.
By the mid-1980s Miller's yard was a spectacle—a hilltop field of
hundreds of spinning windmills. His animated environment attracted
frequent visitors, including Athens rock group R.E.M., who in 1984,
with painter and filmmaker James Herbert, filmed a twenty-minute video,
Left of Reckoning, on Miller's hilltop.
Eventually, he became one of the state's premiere self-taught artists. famous around the world. His sincere and artful cutouts, whirligigs, and drawings feature animals and human figures and usually have a religious message.
Miller's most frequent image is a figure emblazoned with the words "Blow Oskar," a reference to the artist's cousin, who would blow his car horn while driving past Miller's property. Cutout shapes of churches, American flags, and crosses decorated with birds and angels also figure heavily in Miller's work.
The best of Miller's tin cutouts are gracefully abstracted and animated in gesture. His animal images range from bluebirds, chickens, pigs, and snakes to a variety of dinosaur types, inspired by nature programs on television. Human figures include red devils, angels, such American cultural icons as Uncle Sam and Elvis, and less well-defined characters that sport hats, cigars, or red claws.
In addition to whirligigs and cutouts, Miller produced paintings
and drawings in enamel or marker on masonite. These works include
similar human figures, animals, and dinosaurs, which share space with
such short inspirational messages as "Lord Love You" and
are surrounded by simple decorative borders.
EWG represents some very nice R. A. Miller pieces:
"Lord Love You Snake"
13" X 50"
Acrylic paint on salvaged tin $550.
17.5" x 17.5"
Acrylic on wood panel $450.
850.502.1847 / 850.225.3024