A.B. Miner's intimately scaled self portraits are radical for their obsessively painted surfaces and raw emotional content. Primarily through the use of impastoed oil paint, but also via pencil drawings and occasionally film, the artist's diaristic practice documents the permeability of flesh, a struggle for control over the body, and the limits of emotional resilience. Recent works reveal what the artist and many people hide from the outside world. Concealing inner turmoil and bodily irregularities and remaining elusive about the details of a creative process are themes Miner hopes will resonate with viewers.
For instance, in From There to Here, a twelve-panel progression of paintings spanning 16 feet and made between 2007 and 2010, Miner chronicles one year of healing scars after chest surgery he underwent. Employing an even more dramatic macro view than his previous work, these paintings confront viewers with a simultaneously gruesome and beautiful homage to the human bodys potential for metamorphosis.
Miners first film piece, "Fly 08," revisits Yoko Onos legendary "Fly" (1970) an experimental, conceptual film and feminist consideration of the human body. Miners work enlists the components of the original, capturing on 16mm film a prone unclothed body as a landscape and backdrop for the explorations of a live insect. "Fly 08" alternates close-ups and long shots capturing the behavior of the fly while patiently revealing the physiognomy of the somewhat exploited host, the artist himself.
Small, painted facial self-portraits expose emotional scars. In recent works he has situated himself in a large sea of glossy, white enamel thus capturing the feeling of being lost and empty. Previous works featured much tighter, claustrophobic compositions with intense, black backgrounds.
In his delicate, precise and almost scientific pen and pencil drawings, Miner depicts body hair to highlight the prominence of secondary sex characteristics in society.