January 3–February 3, 2019
In Sweet Things, Ashley Miller creates abject still lifes with unsettling imagery that draw attention to the subtexts of desire, consumerism, and overabundance present in product and food photography. Miller’s particular brand of grotesque also alludes to culturally reinforced anxieties about the female body and sexuality that are often manipulated in advertising. The artist playfully disarms these notions using humor and an uncanny ability to present the familiar as strange, and vice-versa. However, despite these critiques of consumer culture, Miller admits, "I am a consumer, too. I crave sugary food that has been marketed to me all my life. I bite and I chew and I swallow what I am given. Modern society is built on overabundance and addiction. This state of anxiety is the starting point for my work, in which I attempt to embrace the tautological regurgitation. After all, I am peddling the fetish."
Ashley Miller was born in Aleppo, Syria and raised on the island of Guam. She currently lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she is completing an MFA at the University of New Mexico. Miller previously earned a BA from Evergreen State College, in Olympia, Washington. Her photography has been shown nationally and internationally, most recently at the SE Center for Photography in Greenville, South Carolina and at the Organ Vida International Photography Festival at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, Croatia.