Following the closure of the Polaroid company in 2008, Polaroid artists were thrown into despair over their future; never has a modern art form been cut off so abruptly. That was until the Impossible Project opened later that same year, with a renewed vigor and enthusiasm rippling through the art form. Enter Andrew Millar. The artist seized the opportunity to show the world the potential of the Polaroid, with his black and gold collaged layers of paint and photography, and aren’t we glad that he did.
Breathing new life into vintage imagery, like his forebears such as Andy Warhol, Millar collects magazines and images from markets and antique dealers. The artist then revives forgotten faces with his little known process of Polaroid collage transparencies. Millar explains, “When I produce the pieces I use a lot of old facial imagery so whilst lifting the Polaroid and applying the gold it kind of brings them back.”
It is the final touches of these artworks that create experimental images that call to the filmmaking of the 1960s and beyond, with layers of black and gold giving a touch of Hollywood glamour. As for the full details of the method, Millar keeps it a closely guarded secret.
Chasing Ghosts marks an impressive change to Millar’s practice with the introduction of his large Polaroid portraits. For the first time, the artist’s black and gold Polaroid’s are collected into a grid to compile into one large image of astounding beauty in 24 Ct. gold leaf. With such a large back catalogue you may be wondering how he creates such individual characters. Wonder no more, for we can tell you that each image is created with its own soundtrack that embodies each artwork, with the likes of Aphex Twin and Massive Attack.
Andrew Millar: Chasing Ghosts shows at the Curious Duke Gallery, 173 Whitecross Street, London, EC1Y from 7 – 30 April 2016. This was a guest post by Sinead Loftus as part of our ‘Ones to watch’ series. For more ones to watch have a look at these features on Hanna Benihoud, Karis Knight and Kate Knight.
Andrew Millar Gallery