Swimming in Sensuality: The Photography of Steven Miller

Written by | Art & Design, The Lens

Coming out means letting go. When you embrace your orientation, you shed the insecurities of youth and the inhibitions of straight society.

Steven Miller captures the delicate waltz between liberation and immersion with his photo series Subsumed. His subjects are presented as a confounding blend of embryonic and empowered, floating in an amniotic vortex while flexing their maturity with every sinewy shred of flesh they bare.

“Swimwear immediately dates the photographs,” Miller tells The Stranger. “I like to make images that exist out of time and place. Also, if I’m honest, I really love nude bodies in all their forms.”

But Miller isn’t just a casual observer of the relationship between Mother Nature and her residents; he dives into the dichotomy headfirst.

“I’ve been swimming naked in Lake Washington for three decades,” notes the queer shutterbug.

“Some of my favorite swims happen after midnight, with black waves glistening under a full moon and friends singing next to me. The frigid water, the darkness around us, and the ever-present knowledge of the abyss below is as scary as it is exciting. I have no intention of dying out there, and I have lifeguard training since high school. I am always thankful when my feet touch bottom after a long swim.”

Speaking of bottoms, Miller has elevated the human heinie to majestic heights, even as he dunks those cheeks into the waters that flood his portfolio.

Through Steven Miller’s lens, the human body is in a constant state of liquidity. We ebb and flow with the whims of the water, washing away preconception and nurturing new permutations of gender, sexuality and corporeal pride.

“Making art gave me a voice that let me find my people. Those friends are my lifeline on this planet, and most of them are in my photographs over the last 20 years. Every queer person that finds my art online and writes me a letter – it feels like I’m doing my part to spread the word: you matter, you belong. Let’s make our short time here shine as bright as we can.”

Every shimmy shimmers in the work of this marine maestro. We can’t wait to plunge into his next project.

Photos: smiller555.com



Last modified: August 1, 2022