ArtTour International Magazine Artist of the Week
American-born photographer Howard Harris, in his carefully altered digital prints, takes on what is perhaps the most American of themes: the interrelationship of perception and technology. Harris explores how the whole emotional complex underlying one’s personality integrates into the structural logic of architecture and design. As Harris himself frames it, “my aim to combine technology and aesthetics in a way that expands the viewer’s experience of photographic art.”
What are the core and fundamental themes and concepts of your art?
“Josef Albers once said that ‘Abstraction is real, probably more real than nature.’ I believe that the Photographic Art should go beyond a static two-dimensional representation of nature. A photo should capture more than one moment in time, one view and one experience. Adding additional dimension to a two-dimensional image should be the goal of the artist. As an artist one should master technology. But mastering technology or technique only makes one a technician. The artist must transcend the merely technical. It’s the goal of the artist to add the intangible dimensions of personal expression, emotion, movement, and the opportunity for the image to interact with its ever-changing environment. ”
What are you currently focusing on?
“Currently, I am focusing on creating my impressions from my travels through Italy and Australia. I have collected a series of images in Italy from the Tuscan region down through the Amalfi coast. I hope to have enough images good enough for a show next year. Then I will focus my attention on my images of Australia. Extensive travels through Sidney, Adelaide, Alice Springs Darwin, Kakadu, and Brisbane rocked my imagination. For the first time, I believe I am beginning to understand Aboriginal art. I may try to create an Americanized 2020 interpretation.”
Have you experienced any significant changes in your work this last year?
“I continue to refine the grid used to create the eyes parallax confusion. Probably better said, I understand what the eye is seeing and how it sees my dimensional images. Also, realizing that not all images are suitable for dimensionality. I am also creating and simplifying/refining images that do not use the grid as a basis for change. So, the biggest change for me is showing both three-dimensional images and two-dimensional images.”
Where are you from, and how has that influenced your art?
“I am from an urban city in the United States of America. Urban influences make me very comfortable, creating bold, bright, and different images. The natural compaction one deals within large cities drive me to create uniqueness. The desire to stand out in a crowded environment inspired me to create a process that received a US Patent. The understanding that the only constant in life changes inspired me to create images that are not static. Knowing that every person is an individual that may look similar but have a unique set of understandings, moods, knowledge, ambitions, and the way individuals perceive objects inspired me to incorporate the eye-brain, point of view relationship in my works.”
Share something that makes you feel vulnerable.
“Moving from a designer (one who creates for others) to a fine artist (one who creates for themselves) has created an emotional honesty that can only be described as sometimes feeling good, sometimes bad, and sometimes ugly. Experiencing years of critique from clients, professors, coworkers, and buyers never gave me the same sense of vulnerability that creating what some call fine art has. When I am completely honest with myself (vulnerable), I tend to discount the good and concentrate on the bad and ugly. Because honesty in my art starts with being completely honest with myself. That means I am continually learning about Me through my work. And my natural tendency to create methodologies of thought makes me concentrate harder on the bad and ugly because the good seems to take care of its self. “
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