Dusty Table, 2006

Jason Miller

Location: Brooklyn, New York
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Jason Miller designs imperfect home furnishings. Drawing inspiration from the basements, attics, and family rooms of suburban America, he plays with form, function, tradition, and modernism to create fresh and surprising objects. His fabricated illusions of wear-and-tear evoke fictional biographies, while his unconventional materials suggest the labors of an eccentric hobbyist. Challenging typical notions of desirability, Miller’s work celebrates the humility of everyday things.

Miller received his MFA in painting from the New York Academy of Art. Shortly thereafter, while painting still lifes of personal household effects, he realized his deeper interest lay in the objects themselves—tables, dishes, appliances—rather than in their pictorial representations. Permanently shelving his paints, he began working in the studios of Jeff Koons and Karim Rashid before founding his own studio in 2001. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn, where he is part of a burgeoning design community inspired by the area’s industrial history.

Premeditated flaws and do-it-yourself aesthetics permeate Miller’s work. Beautifully Broken is a collection of cracked vases that have been mended with colored epoxy to highlight their damage. His Scotch Magic series of shattered mirrors are restored with a glass product that looks like tape. Miller also simulates duct-tape repairs using leather strips to suture wool-upholstered armchairs. Rebelling against propriety, his Dusty Tables are permanently soiled with trompe l’oeil dust.

The materials and aesthetics of childhood find a second life in Miller’s objects: he casts porcelain vases from Lego forms and molds containers from homemade Play-Doh. For his Glassicle lamps, Miller obsessively glues glass popsicle sticks into sparkling, architectonic fixtures.

Miller’s designs emulate personal belongings not suitable for public display, but nonetheless privately enjoyed. The wit and simplicity of his work remind us that beauty can take many forms, and that an intriguing personality is more desirable than a perfect face.