Bauhaus Prairie Art Gallery

Celebrating the modernity of creative contemporary and traditional art through online art competition

Howard Harris

Fourth Place

Howard Harris

Howard Harris

"No Monkeys"

Mixed Media Photo Based , 36"x 30"

Sale Price $2900

Artist Statement & Biography

Influenced by both Op Art and chaos theory, Howard Harris breaks with the strictures of traditional photography to reimagine the expressive possibilities in a photo-based image. Harris states that his explorations in photographic art represent “an attempt to recreate the perceptual experience, with its dynamic nature and hidden complexities”.

Harris’s work engages the idea that every photographic moment allows for a multiplicity of experiences depending on the way we look at it. Even in his more representational work, the identity of the object is pushed toward abstraction and the full experience of the image – the sensuous allure of color and line and spatial energy – is felt.

Harris creates his “visions” as kaleidoscopes of visual movement, as if the image could shift before your eyes. Many of his photographs feature biomorphic blooms of colors shimmering across a rhythmic space. In some of his 3-dimensional pieces, Harris gives his images a sculptural effect, layering the work using clear acrylic surfaces superimposed on a subtle grid and then shaping the surface. The images gain dimension and the viewing experience shifts depending on the angle.

Harris has long been interested in space and form and, eventually, how both can be represented in a visual object. A native of Denver, Harris received his BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and completed a Masters in Industrial Design at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn mentored by the renowned design theorist and educator Rowena Reed Kostellow. Through his growing interest in such Op artists as Julian Stanczak and Josef Albers as well as Henry Moore’s figurative sculptures, Harris learned to appreciate the way visual perception can be broken up and reconfigured creating an immersive experience before your eyes. Harris’s expressive and visually arresting photo images build from these earlier insights.

Josef Albers once said that “Abstraction is real, probably more real than nature”. In his photographic explorations, Harris also takes reality and twists and toys with it in intriguing ways to shift the sensory awareness of the viewer. As his work proves, perception is forever changing.