Soot and bone glue
Unique multiple of 23
1 x 1 x 3 inches approx.
Dimension of artist's grip
Miller Robinson’s sculptures exist as narrative artifacts of ritualistic encounters and experiences that elicit storytelling. Robinson understands their objects as “tools,” rooted in the understanding that hands were—and continue to be—fundamental in furthering human evolution. Robinson’s objects are familiar, yet each tool’s anatomy derives its meaning from a private world created through merging personal metaphors of materials with biological functions that question our position on the planet and beyond. Like much of science fiction, Robinson’s work uses the past to imagine a future. By disrupting common understandings of materials, objects, bodies, and the experiences associated with them, Robinson creates a space in which their work is a tool for growth and adaptation.
Much of Robinson’s tools and materials are drawn from their time and experience at the Estate of Robert Overby, where they spent many years archiving the late-artist’s work and belongings. During this time, Robinson developed a symbiotic relationship to Bob, who became their mentor through his remaining archive. By using the same tools and materials found in Bob’s work, Robinson further develops their personal connection to Bob.
Primate’s Grip is an homage to Robert Overby’s Monkey Grip (1970), a plaster cast of the impression of the artist’s hand left in a lump of clay. Robinson’s Grip is of the same gesture, but made with traditional methods used to make inksticks (soot and liquified animal glue are mixed, kneaded by hand, and pressed into molds until dried). The piece references humankind’s genealogical family tree. Acknowledging the destruction that inherently comes with evolutionary advancement, Robinson parallels the remains of fire and other species’ bodies to create a tool historically used in ancient calligraphy and mark-making.
Miller Robinson is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Los Angeles. Their work has been exhibited in Los Angeles at the Southwest Museum, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Heritage Square Museum, Ben Maltz Gallery, and with Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE), as well as HORESEANDPONY Fine Arts in Berlin amongst others. Miller received a BFA from Otis College of Art and Design in 2014.
See Miller Robinson's book Tomorrow Is Yesterday's Flower.