“My paintings focus on objects I find engaging, they are objects that resonate with me on many levels. I place the work in an ambiguous space to keep the viewer’s attention focused on the object. Seventeenth century Vanitas paintings that were made popular with the Dutch and Flemish often used everyday items that were and were given important symbolic connotations. They were not your average still life. They were little paintings with big ideas. My paintings are similar in the sense that they isolate an object or group of objects that may contain historic or symbolic references. But I ignore historical reference and symbolic implications and the object is valued for purely personal reasons. The result has an element of cognitive dissonance to the reasons behind its selection. This work draws attention to possible metaphors these objects present and links their qualities to an intimate human condition. Particularly mine. And hopefully the viewer’s as well. These objects are metaphors for identity, self preservation, and mortality. I am attempting to illustrate their significance to more grand ideas. It is the grand ideas that connect me back into the circle of humanity.” - PJ Mills
PJ Mills was born in Spokane Washington, the child of an US Air Force Pilot. PJ has lived mostly in the southern United States with the exception of a few years in Europe. PJ currently has an active studio at the Fountainhead Studios in Miami, Florida and resides with a partner, a cat and a dog. PJ studied at Cornell University under the Cornell Fellowship and a grant from the Andrew D. White Foundation for the Visual Arts. Today, PJ’s work is executed primarily in oil paint on canvas consisting of several layers of glazes. The work focuses on personal experiences and memories from a traumatic childhood. The work is primarily objects set in an ambiguous still life setting forcing the viewer to draw metaphors form the subject matter. PJ’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the US and his work is in public and private collections.
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Oil on paper
29” x 41”