Ravi Zupa & Arna Miller

Ravi Zupa considers books the best way to experience art. He has spent decades studying books about the art, mythology, religion, and history of cultures from across geography and time. Entirely self-taught, Zupa looks to works by German Renaissance printmakers, Flemish primitives, abstract expressionists, Japanese woodblock artists, and Mughal painters for inspiration. He also frequently incorporates religious iconography from Europe, Asia, and Pre-Columbian Latin America with revolutionary propaganda from around the world. With a distaste for ironic art or the thoughtless appropriation of culture, he integrates seemingly unrelated images in search of something universal. Zupa does not create any of his art digitally; everything comes from his own hand.

Arna Miller work is inspired by Vintage Americana and ephemera, turn of the century posters and adverts, cigarette cards and matchbooks, combined with a unique surrealism. The colours and intricate detail suggest a nostalgia, with a narrative of long forgotten childhood books, both mystical and beguiling to the viewer, combined with a contemporary twist. Arna describes her guiding principles as an artist: “My aim is to create narrative illustrations that depict magical moments…I often use text to tell part of the story, but like to leave most of the narrative up to the viewer. My guiding rule—which I sometimes break—is Possible, but Not Likely. For example, it’s possible for a vole to sit on a cigarette box and float down a river, but it is not likely. On the other hand, dinosaurs didn’t have laptops and headphones, so I would not draw that.”

Ravi & Arna are married and often collaborate on creative projects.