Jill Miller: Collectors

5.3 / On Collecting

Jill Miller: Collectors

By Art Practical Editors February 6, 2014

“Conversely, the act of collecting is itself an investigation of the ‘other,’ of the culture and ideas of artists, and involves a degree of voyeurism, curiosity, fascination and consumption that crosses lines of class, culture and status.” – Heather Snider, Focus Magazine, 2009

After training for two months with a licensed private investigator, garnering multiple skills of the profession, San Francisco-based artist Jill Miller began her Collectors project. Using the surveillance and stake-out techniques she learned, Miller turned an eye toward the art world and spent six months undercover trailing some of the most low-key members of San Francisco's art community, its collectors. She captured images of everything from their cars and houses to mingling at openings, shopping, and eating sushi. The bulk of her documentation, including video, photography, and text, culminated in an exhibition at [2nd floor projects] from November 2007 - January 2008. Art Practical is delighted to be able to reproduce a selection of Miller's photographs.

All images Jill Miller, from her Collectors series, 2007. Courtesy of the artist.



Jill Miller is an art practitioner who works collaboratively with communities and individuals. Working with maternal knowledge and the maternal body, her recent experiments and cultural probes challenge issues of ownership, identity and status quo. She presents her work with humor, curiosity and often reverence, recontextualizing objects, images and processes in order to look deeper within them. Born in Illinois, she received her MFA in from the University of California, Los Angeles and her BA from the University of California, Berkeley, in English. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, and collected in public institutions worldwide including CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo in Madrid and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. She has taught at California College of the Arts, San Francisco Art Institute and Carnegie Mellon University.


  1. Heather Snider, "Jill Miller: Collectors," Focus Magazine (June 2009): 84-85.

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