The Art of Book Covers

I miss the old Penguin and Pelican imprints in England - those elegant, simple all-type covers that almost scream at you: it's the text that matters. It didn't occur to me they could inspire high art. But they have, as well as an artist's liberties with various authors and invented titles:

Harland Miller's paintings are unusual in the range of current contemporary art in that they are, first, self-evidently painterly paintings and, second, companionable; they can make you laugh.

I remember the first time I came across the Hemingway painting I'm So Fucking Hard - it was propped against the wall in a studio, an appropriately imposing object, about 6ft by 4ft - I laughed out loud. Ditto its companion painting, Dirty Northern Bastard, attributed to D. H. Lawrence. Also Not Bi-curious by Norman Mailer. I could go on.

And he does. Norman, by the way, has always struck me as very bi-curious.