The Literary Life of a Dunhill Man

Seeing Dunhill’s new ad campaign didn’t make me want to buy luxury goods from London; it made me want a Miller. A Harland Miller. He’s the rather shabby fellow among the three fairly obscure Brits chosen as the brand’s new faces this season, the one trying to hide behind an $1,100 briefcase (below). That must be why I failed to recognize one of my favorite contemporary artists at first, but reading the fine print I found he was one and the same. The talented painter and author first caught my eye when his 2007 monograph International Lonely Guy landed on my desk. What he does best are atmospheric re-interpretations of classic Penguin paperback covers – and I know I’m not the only one around here with a fondness for those.

The Penguin paintings often puncture pretensions and reveal home truths about the authors; thus D.H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers becomes Dirty Northern Bastard, Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited becomes Gateshead Revisited, Hemingway’s sometimes forced machismo is summed up neatly in the work above. After painting a number of them starting in 2001 Miller tried his hand at other things, but returned to the fold with a new series of Penguin works just exhibited at an Amsterdam gallery. Stylish musical genius Jarvis Cocker probably picked up a couple; a big Miller fan and collector, he interviewed the artist for International Lonely Guy. Copies are available on Amazon, meanwhile here are some images from the book, courtesy of Rizzoli.

Jared Paul Stern writes the Classicist column for Luxist.

Comments on “The Literary Life of a Dunhill Man

    AnalogBass on March 9, 2011 12:04 PM:
    Angelo on March 9, 2011 12:57 PM:


    BLUE GOLD BLUES on March 9, 2011 4:33 PM:

    Wow didnt realise this was an Other Criteria job. Art prices (from source) never fail to amuse me.

    JPS on March 9, 2011 4:47 PM:

    Those prints from the new series are nice, and actually pretty reasonable – White Cube is asking £50,000 for ‘Dirty Northern Bastard’.

    Ray Hull on March 9, 2011 9:39 PM:

    Fucking stoopid.

    Bateman233 on March 10, 2011 4:02 PM:

    HELP. Does anyone know of a great website to look for posters/prints? I have two beautiful 16×20 frames I picked up at an estate sale and am having no luck finding a good print to put in them.

    BLUE GOLD BLUES on March 10, 2011 6:44 PM:

    shep fairey prints are cool but are 18×24

    you could get a nice banksy print if you had a few thousand bucks.

    or hirst print for tens of thousands

    dan on March 10, 2011 9:46 PM:

    bateman – check out 20×

    Jess on March 12, 2011 1:14 PM:

    This. is. amazing.

    sarno on March 12, 2011 4:18 PM:

    richard prince

    JPS on March 14, 2011 1:28 PM:

    I believe Miller’s Penguins predate Prince’s naughty nurses by a year at least.

    Chin on March 23, 2011 11:52 AM:

    Hemingway is a terrific author! Luv the post

Comments are closed.