Séverin Millet in The New Yorker, and beyond

Severin Millet Regina Spektor

Regina Spektor

In my last post, well leaving aside my birthday shenanigans, I shared that I came upon illustrator Jorge Arevalo in passing in an October 2012 issue of The New Yorker. Well the same as happened again in a double (October 29/November 5) issue of The New Yorker, and the same section too, the Goings On About Town. This time the illustrator is Séverin Millet.

This image is of singer and musician Regina Spektor. You may already be familiar with her but if not there is much detail about her on her own website which I provide a link to the chase, that is her music,  but basically all you need to know is that she is the niece of Phil Spector but in a rebellious gesture due to his treatment of her Aunt Ronnie she changed her name, just enough so that you would notice but not enough too that you would not forget that she was family.

Okay so perhaps Ronnie Spector never wore Regina’s mother’s jeans let alone had the same blue genes but a spectral heir makes a better story than a near name-sake.

What certainly is not made up is that the Séverin here is the one Lou Reed wrote about in Venus in Furs, a 1967 Velvet Underground musing.

Severin, Severin, speak so slightly
Severin, down on your bended knee
Taste the whip, in love not given lightly
Taste the whip, now bleed for me

Despite pre-dating his birth by a whole ten years. Spooky indeed. At least this is what the website Tricksy Pedia has been feeding me. I would give you its URL but it never remains the same for more than sixty seconds.

Millet’s website though is more anchored. Below a Wikipedia snippet.

Severin Millet Wikipedia bio snippet

There is a larger cv about him than there was for Arevalo – it is a long list and includes Le Monde and Libération among many others.

Home Page o fSéverin MilletAbove is the current home-page. Striking.

I cannot recreate a scrolling effect here but if you do scroll down these works then reveal.

Home Page Séverin Millet

If you click on any of these images more images are then revealed, and some times text too. I am going to concentrate on just one image by way of giving you a flavour.

But before I do that a few other bits of business as it were you might be interested in.

If you like enough his work to the extent that you would pay to own it then there is a store on his site of his work. Well some of it. But is there no greater love than to own the object of your love? A little rhetorical question for you to take away with you.

Also in passing I noted from his own blog one of the above featured works (for a Book Festival in Saint Etienne) has been shown in common-place street settings.

Severin Millet Fete du Livre

Fête du livre de Sainte Étienne – on Tram


Fête du livre de Sainte Étienne Bus Stop

Fête du livre de Sainte Étienne – at Bus Stop

That is a fine way to have your art displayed is it not? Although if my eyes are not deceiving me there is already a tare showing on the bus-shelter display, either by a heathen vandal or the cruel indifference of nature…

Severin Millet OuSo finally moving on. This is the image that I clicked on to reveal the images and works below.

The one that most caught my eye, halted me in my browsing, caused me to stop a little longer was in turn the one below.

What is going on there? The background is purple so clearly they are outside, the purple rain having subsided. I have a feeling they are watching golf, how about you? If the man wearing the tartan flat-cap  does not suggest that then the brimming-with-content woman with the tortoise on her head certainly does. As one man is cart-wheeling with perhaps the fleeting rush of having won a wager they  could be at the races I guess.Ou Severin MIllet

These images are very busy. Overspilling with meaning? Or just busy? They certainly merit a number of revisits.

Shelves - Séverin MilletShelving might suggest organisation yet the contents seem very haphazard – suggesting chaos as much as tidiness.

Séverin MilletThis next merits the word lovely but lovely as such pejorative connotations alas. But look a bit closer and perspective is askew. These flowers are Triffid type giant size or these people hale from Lilliput, Blefuscu and its parts. There is menace too, paradise about to be troubled?

These are the final two featured works. I will leave them for your own thoughts to first form. And because well I don’t know what to make of them.

Séverin Millet - 2 worksI do not know what the meanings are in general and have been thought-doodling. But part of me does not want to know.

Like listening to Arias sung in Italian and you do not know Italian and they sound other-wordly, exotic even, perhaps profound but when rendered understood in your own mother tongue the words may reveal as clunky and the meaning prosaic.

Revelation dissolves. Mystery preserves.