Miller & Shellabarger explore the dynamics of love and loss through performance pieces that emphasize artistic and everyday processes as a metaphor for the cycles of life and death, of connection and separation. The Chicago based couple have been collaborating for over 18 years exploring together their respective fascinations with the body to produce performances and art work in a myriad of materials and processes that speak to universal themes of human relationships in a distinctly physical way. The work is based loosely on their autobiography as a couple but speaks more broadly about human relationships. The work focuses on the ways bodies relate to each other. Past performances include sitting with their beards braided together, acquiring sunburns while embarrassing between tanning lights, and a crocheting on either end of a pink tube. Miller & Shellabarger’s work also challenges stereotypes about gender roles and sexuality. Many of the pair’s works incorporate the domestic/feminine elements that combined with there physical appearance contradicts popular perceptions of queer men.
They have received critical attention both collaboratively and in their individual work, including the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Artadia Individual Artist Award and a Peter S. Reed Foundation Grant as well as numerous critical reviews in Art Forum, The New York Times, and The Chicago Sun Times, among others. They are represented by Western exhibitions in Chicago, IL.