BOOKS
04/16/2014 12:25 pm ET Updated Apr 16, 2014

Ian Miller's Awe-Inspiring Fantasy/Horror Book Art (IMAGES)

Titan Books

The following is an excerpt from the new book, The Art of Ian Miller, which is out now. This portion was written by the artist himself:

At an exhibition of my work, I once overheard an onlooker comment: “look at that, he MUST be on something.” I’m not.

I have never needed any mind-expanding substance to tap the subconscious: my childhood was a rich and whirligig world; I take from it freely.

My mother worked at a leading theatrical costumier’s in the 50s and as a consequence of this my toy box was a veritable treasure trove of fantastic objects and cast offs from a gaggle of films and theater productions. I was steeped in the world of make-believe, and surrounded by the "fantastic" most every day. Characters like the green-faced Wicked Witch of the West in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the genie from Sinbad the Sailor, who also had a green face, were etched into my psyche and still, even today, provoke both excitement and fear when I think of them. These and all the other fantastic transports, the devices, from my toy box still frequently appear in my work.

Strange to say, the images I often think of as being gentle and playful, innocuous, are often the ones that disturb people the most. They inspire descriptions such as "dark dream," "disturbing," "melancholically beautiful." If it were me labeling the artwork, the term "pathos" would be the key.

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