Review: Warren Miller at Wug Laku 

3.5 stars



Wug Laku’s Studio & Garage.

Most of Warren Miller's paintings highlight the issue of deafness in contemporary society. But this artist, who happens to be deaf, also turns his attention to history.

“Deaf Holocaust” (acrylic on canvas) is Miller’s take on the Nazi gassing of deaf Germans. This painting’s central focus is a yellow skull surrounded by a sea of smaller skulls, all of which are painted in an abstracted style—a style uniform throughout his work on display here—that could be described as didactic Pop art. In the painting “Façade,” he focuses on a subject much closer to his own personal experience. Here you see one talking head shouting at another. The verbally abused figure is holding up a white mask, akin to a Japanese Noh mask, that hides his incomprehension.

This is a visual explanation of what deaf people feel pressured to do, says Miller, when the hearing lack the patience to communicate with the deaf in a considerate way. In this painting, however, Miller also touches on universal themes. That is to say, putting up a submissive façade of comprehension when receiving verbal abuse — such as that from a boss or a spouse — isn’t just a strategy employed by the deaf. Through April 30; 317-270-8258, www.wlsandg.com

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