Miners paintings and drawings reveal or bring to light things that are usually hidden from public view. Some works continue a dialogue with self-portraiture/the gendered body, while two series evolved from his research in natural history museum collections.
The paintings are self-referential; intimate in scale and content, these self-portraits are conceptually and emotionally charged, exposing vulnerability by revealing what he (and many people) hide from the outside world inner turmoil and body irregularities. The bandaged incision and related bruises in Recently Revised confront viewers with a simultaneously gruesome and beautiful homage to the human bodys potential for transformation, adaptation, and resilience. Miners adept use of oil paint creates luscious surfaces, highlighting the alchemical nature of flesh. In other paintings, subjects are situated in a sea of white space evoking the feeling of being psychologically lost or separated from the subject by time, the haze of failing memory or secrecy. The resulting images may be at once familiar and foreign, surrounded by piercing silence.
Miners frustration with contemporary Western societys binary views of gender based on average male and average female bodies led him to research how masculinity manifests in other species. Before his move to Boston, Miner discovered and photographed an undocumented, offsite collection of the National Museum of Natural History, simply labeled: Smithsonian Institution Penis Collection. Here he found single examples of numerous species of mammals whose diverse, abstract shapes would inspire complex and intricate works on paper. That project led him to research the genitalia of male butterflies working closely with Harvard Universitys Museum of Comparative Zoology, where author Vladimir Nabakov served as the Museums first curator of Lepidoptera and closely compared butterfly genitals. Miner selected 50 related butterflies representing species Nabokov studied and had them dissected as the genitalia is only visible through this process. These tiny specimens, photographed under the microscope, reveal a diverse array of forms providing a wide range of physical manifestations of masculinity, which Miner explores in new works on paper.