Adam Miller, The Intruder, 2014

A satyr has stumbled onto the farm of some heavily-armed Americans who hold him at gunpoint. The woman has pinned the satyr underfoot while demanding to know why he is there. In Greek mythology satyrs are nature spirits with cloven hooves, goat horns, and permanent erections. They are often drunk and promiscuous, but nevertheless, they are part of the order of the natural world.

The painting comes from a series Miller painted titled ‘Twilight in Arcadia.’ For the Greeks, Arcadia was the land of the god Pan and has become associated with harmonious, utopian wilderness. Miller gives us scenes where woodland spirits and nymphs are hunted down. The title of the series suggests we are in the twilight of human civilization, where utopia becomes dystopia. We humans are destroying nature in our never-ending desire to conquer it.

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