Denver-based Arna Miller makes a return to Spoke Art SF in Stop Pouring Gasoline on the Fire, and Other Stories About Cats, a solo pop-up exhibition featuring her cast if animal characters captured with deadpan text.

Casting animals in the starring roles, Miller transforms scenes of day to day into absurd narratives. Squirrels, frogs, and monkeys hop out of their natural habitats into common domestic scenarios. The commonplace and expected becomes a ludicrous giggle.

Arna Miller Joy Ride 2019

Cats, her most notable characters, lend themselves to a particular absurdity and relatability, as their stubborn autonomy and disregard for consequence always resonating with a human audience. Miscreants in their own right, our feline friends explore humor and accidental charm in everyday moments, reminding us all that mistakes are just part of life.

 Making It Right

The artist's muted color palette and illustrative style, inspired by Victorian-era postcards and ephemera, evoke nostalgia and sweetness, as the comic narrative text contrasts this gentle aesthetic. Employing humor as an entertaining tool, Miller's moral narratives warmly soften the gravity of self-inflicted human suffering. As her audience, we can personally relate to these strong-willed cats who deliberately disregard consequence and rebound from mistakes with lovable absurdity and beguiling resolve.

Stop Pouring Gasoline on the Fire, and Other Stories About Cats is open at Spoke Art SF through September 28, 2019.