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A behind-the-seams look at the Berlin-based painter behind our Beach Pack collaboration. Available Now.

R aised in an Israeli kibbutz and based in Berlin, Navot Miller has quietly become one of the art world’s rising stars thanks to his vibrant scenes depicting the quiet, in-between moments of what he describes as “intimate encounters…before or after a sexual act, falling asleep, taking off clothes, towels, showers.” The inspiration for his oil-and-water-based paintings are drawn from real-life encounters that he documents with his phone and then references as a starting point when he’s back in his studio.


Shortly after he graduated from Berlin’s University of The Arts in 2022, Miller began showing at galleries in Berlin, London and New York where his work first captured the attention of the Todd Snyder team in the summer of 2022, following the 1969 Gallery's exhibition "Navot Miller: Coming Back Homo," which was curated by the actor Russell Tovey.

The 1969 Gallery and Tovey worked with us to conceive a collaboration a year and a half in the making: a limited-edition collection of beach-ready shirts, swim shorts, towels and more that provide the perfect canvas for the seaside scenes that appear in Miller’s works. The color pallet Navot is using as his signature language felt like a natural for a beachy, summertime collaboration.

The Gazette recently caught up with the artist about his life, his process and the story behind these wearable works of art, called The Beach Pack.


How did you start painting?

I moved to Berlin ten years ago to study architecture at Berlin’s University of The Arts, and after applying twice to the program and getting turned down twice - which involved showing a portfolio of work, two of the professors suggested that if I was going to try a third time, I should apply to the fine art department. I took their advice and applied and got accepted. I did my BA and MA degrees together from 2017-2022.

What does color mean to you — do you see yourself as part of a larger historical context (Fauvism, Henri Matisse, David Hockney)?

I grew on working-class farmland in northeast Israel. The school I went to from first to twelfth grade was agriculture-oriented, community-oriented. So I knew a lot about tractors and how to produce milk but not color theory. When I first saw the works of David Hockney, back when I was working on my portfolio for architecture, it was incredibly clear. And, like the sun, I was attracted to it.


If I find myself in a situation I’m attracted to, a sweet moment or nice person or aesthetic scene…I take a picture. Some of those pictures become paintings.
 — Navot

Who would you consider your influences?

I like sad books. And I like books that can trigger my tears. A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara is a great example - it is my number one. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong, We The Animals by Justin Torres. That last one is a beautiful heartbreaking book about three kids, growing up in a poor family in Brooklyn.

Tell us a little bit about your process?

If I spend time with people, if I find myself in a situation I’m attracted to, a sweet moment or nice person or aesthetic scene…I take a picture. Some of those pictures become paintings. It starts with me drawing the photograph on a primed, plain canvas. I start very badly, like morphologically and anatomically a nonsensical drawing. Then I reshape and reshape. Once this sketch is done, I have a preliminary plan [for] who and what gets color. Some pigments I buy ready to use, and some (like my pink and orange) I buy dry and mix with linseed oil.


Can you tell me about the specific paintings that ended up in this collaboration?

What’s something that might surprise people who only know your work?

I like the aviation world. airplanes, airports, air travel, terminals. I also like public transit, transportation, tunnels, bridges…I like the machinery involved, the aesthetic of the construction world, fences, vests, helmets, insane tools. Some of my close friends know this about me. A lot of my interest in architecture is in planning wisely how to use a space…I am interested in designing places wisely.

This project was conceived in partnership with Navot Miller, Russell Tovey and 1969 Gallery.

All proceeds from the collection will be donated to the charity Visual Aids.

Photographs by Phillip Gutman

Written by Kate Andersen