What have you accomplished in a year of your life? It’s something that a lot of us don’t (or try not to) think about, and a daunting question for any artist, but photographer James Miille has 365 conceptual portraits to show. Running at the Gallery 151 Annex (199 Mott Street) until this Tuesday, June 23rd, Life in the Rabbit Hole is Mr. Miile’s first solo gallery photo show. With the help of FAME by Alex Mitow, Imagination in Space, and Arte Collective, a spectacle of the senses has been born.
I first had the pleasure of meeting James as a fellow member of the NYU Men’s Glee Club in 2013. Since then, I’ve watched his work blossom throughout the Manhattan area. From scenic glimpses into fantasy realms to personal metamorphosis to haunting nightmares, James’ work touches upon a wide range of eclectic and colorful themes. One even flew straight out of a Roald Dahl novel!
In “Extra Butter,” a moviegoing couple finds themselves frantically drawn within the action flick they’re watching. In “Personal Bubble,” the portrait’s shy heroine literally floats through her own comfort zone. In “Metro,” a hapless damsel is magnetically drawn towards the beacon of light emanating from a speeding train. In “Immerse,” a painter’s imagination floods his reality!
Expect a lot of puns, some wackiness, and a great deal of charm amidst a maelstrom of cityscapes, nature-inspired locations, and personal crises. Beyond the stunning visuals exists a seemingly limitless potential for emotional poignance. James’ images are much, much more than the magic of Photoshop wrought upon unsuspecting models. In many regards, James is just as much of a director or a painter or a choreographer as he is a photographer. Indeed, some of his best pictures are his self-portraits. You really get the sense he won’t make anyone do anything he wouldn’t gladly do himself, and in a world where most of us are content to slap an Instagram filter on a mere duck face, that kind of passion is captivating.
I’ve even had the pleasure of featuring in a photo or two for James’ project.
Making things still more interesting, on both Saturday and Sunday from 2-5 PM, Inside the Rabbit Hole will also be featuring some tasty snacks and Californian wine pairings (some of them are actually paired with the photos for maximum artistic flavor immersion).
As a fellow artist, an NYU student, and a friend, I look forward to seeing James continue to prosper on his photography journey.
Life in the Rabbit Hole runs from June 18th to June 23rd @ 199 Mott Street.
For more photography and more James Miille, go to https://www.facebook.com/irisism.photo?fref=ts or follow @JamesMiille on Instagram!