Tribecan Max Miller has been making art just about as long as he can remember. He was 13 when he started taking classes at The Art Students League and a few years later, went to RISD for college, Yale for graduate school in fine arts and then, arriving in New York City not long after, did what every New York artist does: got scrappy.
And it paid off. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1989, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1987 and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant in 1991 — there are others too — and the Metropolitan and several corporate collections own his work. It’s all spectacular: monumental, detailed, clever, colorful and a master class in craft (The apartment she shares with his wife, Carla Hoke-Miller, is also a work of art — but more on that later.)
His passion project of the past few years has been painting dogs, but these are not your average canine portraits. It all started with the couple’s Welsh Corgi LouLou, and now has grown to include commissions from all over the world. Scroll through to see more and hear Miller’s story. (His human portraits are beautiful too, so I have included a couple. It was hard to choose.)
How did you get started?
I was always making art. My dad was an architect so I just always loved doing it. I remember I was with my mom at MoMA and I saw abstract paintings and I thought, that’s so great – I’m going to go do that. And my parents were very supportive.
From New Haven I came to New York, to an apartment at 38th and Ninth. I was painting houses and working at a showroom steaming clothes – different odds and ends. But that place was amazing.
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