Navot Miller actually wanted to become an architect. On his third application, he also applied for fine arts at the Berlin University of the Arts and was accepted. Even though he did not study architecture, it plays a decisive role in his paintings. As much as the figures, that move in his paintings, spaces are main protagonists. The spaces in which Miller’s characters appear always tell us about their social position. The recipient looks out of windows onto cypresses, mountains, dream-like landscapes as places of longing and escapist fantasies. It is the round arches that star architect David Chipperfield has preserved in an old building he renovated in Berlin’s Friedrichstra├če that have particularly taken his fancy. Round arches that are actually hardly ever found in buildings constructed today. Because people live, think and love differently today. And it is precisely these in-between areas of human life that Miller illuminates in his work. The areas in which desire, religious feelings and only supposedly casual things nestle. He dissects impressions of everyday life, things he experiences that make up his reality, and mixes them together into a surreal-psychedelic mess whose plausibility, as in a dream, one does not question. How it can be that a flower grows out from behind a sofa and someone stands directly behind a family photo in a shower is something you accept. The shower is one of the recurring motifs and a nod and reference to David Hockney’s “Man in Shower” from 1964. It is very similar bright, flat colors that they both work with, compressing impressions of life. Hockney is known for his landscape paintings. Scenes in which no people are to be seen, but pools, palm trees and other places of longing. Navot Miller treats the people in his paintings in the same way as the landscapes. Both are narrators of their own stories in the same way. It is a nature that is always mountainous and cypress-covered that tells of a longing that the city has long since been unable to fulfill and that is perhaps also one of the basic prerequisites of being human. The scenes Miller paints are always scenes from his everyday life condensed and compiled, but always provided with the possibility of the real. If he likes an image that shows up in his everyday life, he takes a photo with his mobile phone, which he later uses as a model. In this way, his pictures deal with the oppressive and at the same time eerily soft intimacy that slips between people and connects them. Between family and lovers. Between friends and loose acquaintances. Miller has only been painting with oil since this year. Only now does he like to call his pictures paintings. Before that, they were drawings. With the switch to oil, the signal effect of the colors is visibly brought out. It is the same shrill and attention-grabbing colorfulness that can be found on signs on the motorway. He has oriented his color palette to their need for attention. The green, yellow and red – all colors that can also be found on the oversized motorway signs. You can’t escape their gravity. Since he started painting with oil, the colors, although still bright, seem calmer. A little warmer than before, when he still painted with crayons. And at the same time, it is only now that the two-dimensionality opens up and the possibility of immersing oneself in the scenarios he offers in his paintings.

Slowly, written words have appeared in his paintings. Writings that are mostly in Hebrew, come in small fractures, tiny hints at possible readings and further information. In this way, the intimate scenes Miller unfolds do not make the viewer a voyeur, but rather a participant.

Miller’s Jewish identity is repeatedly woven into the pictorial worlds. The naked boy with peyes in the shower. The boy in his pants at his desk, the lover still in bed. A documentary about Nazi Germany is on the television. The television is only half in the picture, you can only make out the writing and guess at the words “Don’t buy from Jews”. All these things take place parallel to each other and show more than often that there is jewish life around us. Even if this is mostly forgotten in Germany and people tend to focus on the image of the Jewish past. Miller’s pictures make it clear that there is an interweaving between the past and the present and perhaps the future as well. And they make it even clearer that life is complex and made up of many different facets. Miller shows all this in the garish colors of the future, mixed with the plausibility of a psychedelic dream, to form an exact psychogram of a present.

– Laura Helena Wurth

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Navot Miller. Everyone I've ever known, Installation view at Elektrohalle Rhomberg, Salzburg, Austria, 2021. Photo by Rudolf Strobl

Navot Miller. Everyone I've ever known, Installation view at Elektrohalle Rhomberg, Salzburg, Austria, 2021. Photo by Rudolf Strobl

Navot Miller. Everyone I've ever known, Installation view at Elektrohalle Rhomberg, Salzburg, Austria, 2021. Photo by Rudolf Strobl

Navot Miller. Everyone I've ever known, Installation view at Elektrohalle Rhomberg, Salzburg, Austria, 2021. Photo by Rudolf Strobl

Navot Miller. Everyone I've ever known, Installation view at Elektrohalle Rhomberg, Salzburg, Austria, 2021. Photo by Rudolf Strobl

Navot Miller. Everyone I've ever known, Installation view at Elektrohalle Rhomberg, Salzburg, Austria, 2021. Photo by Rudolf Strobl

Navot Miller. Everyone I've ever known, Installation view at Elektrohalle Rhomberg, Salzburg, Austria, 2021. Photo by Rudolf Strobl

Navot Miller. Everyone I've ever known, Installation view at Elektrohalle Rhomberg, Salzburg, Austria, 2021. Photo by Rudolf Strobl

Navot Miller. Everyone I've ever known, Installation view at Elektrohalle Rhomberg, Salzburg, Austria, 2021. Photo by Rudolf Strobl

Navot Miller. Everyone I've ever known, Installation view at Elektrohalle Rhomberg, Salzburg, Austria, 2021. Photo by Rudolf Strobl

Navot Miller. Everyone I've ever known, Installation view at Elektrohalle Rhomberg, Salzburg, Austria, 2021. Photo by Rudolf Strobl

Navot Miller. Everyone I've ever known, Installation view at Elektrohalle Rhomberg, Salzburg, Austria, 2021. Photo by Rudolf Strobl

Navot Miller. Everyone I've ever known, Installation view at Elektrohalle Rhomberg, Salzburg, Austria, 2021. Photo by Rudolf Strobl

Navot Miller. Everyone I've ever known, Installation view at Elektrohalle Rhomberg, Salzburg, Austria, 2021. Photo by Rudolf Strobl

Navot Miller. Everyone I've ever known, Installation view at Elektrohalle Rhomberg, Salzburg, Austria, 2021. Photo by Rudolf Strobl

Navot Miller. Everyone I've ever known, Installation view at Elektrohalle Rhomberg, Salzburg, Austria, 2021. Photo by Rudolf Strobl

Navot Miller. Everyone I've ever known, Installation view at Elektrohalle Rhomberg, Salzburg, Austria, 2021. Photo by Rudolf Strobl

Navot Miller. Everyone I've ever known, Installation view at Elektrohalle Rhomberg, Salzburg, Austria, 2021. Photo by Rudolf Strobl

Navot Miller. Everyone I've ever known, Installation view at Elektrohalle Rhomberg, Salzburg, Austria, 2021. Photo by Rudolf Strobl

Navot Miller. Everyone I've ever known, Installation view at Elektrohalle Rhomberg, Salzburg, Austria, 2021. Photo by Rudolf Strobl

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