Comet Ping Pong

Comet Ping Pong

Regular price $4,100

Acrylic, pastel and card on canvas
32" x 38")
2021, edition 1/1

In this piece, I continue to reflect on ideas of truth and deception, both conceptually and in the process of painting itself.

In particular, this work references the Washington DC pizzeria at the center of the 2016 Pizzagate conspiracy theory, which held that members of the Democratic party were involved in a pedophile ring that operated through the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria. This theory was convincingly debunked, but reemerged in 2020, in part due to its promulgation by supporters of QAnon, who allege the existence of an elite global cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles.

I am interested here to reflect on how, both visually and conceptually, spurious connections acquire unwarranted significance, information is ignored or distorted and intention is projected onto the arbitrary, all in an attempt to provide an explanatory narrative that extends beyond the picture plane. Is the placement of compositional elements arbitrary, or governed by some overarching scheme? Do the proportions of and relations between picture elements invoke some form of sacred geometry? Are there hidden levels of meaning that must be identified and decoded to reveal an obfuscated truth available only to the initiated?

The formal elements that comprise this work are loosely drawn from a visual vocabulary I have developed over a number of years: color fields of transparent washes, hard-edged dazzle camouflage, sweeping arcs, features obscured by the application of opaque paint, and textured panels evoking oxidization. Together they make up a collage-type composition, reminiscent of a scrapbook page in which the elements occupy an ambiguous space. The repeated “Q” motif may, or may not, refer to QAnon, while the francophone play between “Q” and “CUL” echoes Marcel Duchamp’s 1919 readymade La Joconde (LHOOQ).


Michael Miller, born in Glasgow, Scotland, trained in painting and drawing in Italy, Switzerland and Mozambique. On moving to the USA in 2010, Miller studied abstract painting, drawing and assemblage at the Art Students League of New York. In May 2012, he was awarded the League’s Henri Matisse Estate Merit Scholarship, and in 2014, he was selected as a visiting artist at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. 

In addition to his regular art practice, Miller has been involved in a range of community-based public art projects in New York, and has supported a number of arts-based not-for-profits as a volunteer artist. From 2012 to 2015 he sat on the board of SONYA (South of the Navy Yards Artists) in Brooklyn. He also sat on the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s exhibit advisory committee. 

Michael Miller is trained as a social scientist, and has studied at the Universities of Edinburgh, Leicester and Pennsylvania, as well as the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. In 2001, he earned a PhD in contemporary history from the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. 

Miller is also a long-standing supporter of human rights, and has published work on a range of issues including violence against children, gender-based violence and the prevention of torture.

Website: Michael Miller


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