“Painting has nothing to do with thinking, because in painting thinking is painting."
— Gerhard Richter
The portraits, in particular No. 2 Head (2014) and No. 7 Head (2014)seem like blow-ups or close ups taken with a zoom lens. The lines tend to be reductive and precise, functioning equally as shape, plane or mass. Millei’s brush strokes are emphatic, rarely random, and each stroke becomes an integral component of his painting’s structure. There is no extraneous painting or embellishment; removal of a line or stroke risks collapsing the framework like a house of cards. This reductive tension becomes a drama of control and admirable restraint, of painting only what just holds, nothing more.
composition of sour green, gunky violet, and his signature muddy brown, all of which is saved by an anchoring patch of cobalt blue, without which the painting would slide off the wall in an overheated heap. Again, the extent to which Millei pays attention to what is just enough signifies a painter-in-full.