What was it that intrigued you about doing work on the theme elements?
I was inspired by nature , human nature, urban life and zen calligraphy in art college when I decided to chose elements as a theme for my artistic expression.
Each piece of element paintings are like a part of mosaic, depicting macro (earth- fire-air-water-space) and micro elements (human and urban life ).
My aim is to depict the fabulous diversity and profusion of our universe.
My artist statement from 2004 describes the best my spirit of artistic creation and my motivation:
„My paintings depicting nature: that surrounds us, the micro- and macrocosm and human nature that is like immense space. Human is like space, forever changing energy fields: atoms as our blood circulation, as galaxies originate and stars decline, floating into ash inside.We are, as ash of stars, transmitting light. ”
Creating „Urban series” gives me a good possibility to show my personal point of view about urban society with a bit of sarcasm and humor.
Which artists have influenced your work and why?
In art college I was mostly influenced by zen master calligraphers Hakuin and Hokusai. I am deeply touched by their pure and simple style, their method of using free space on paper and their spirituality.
My diploma work was a research about the influence of zen calligraphy to western artists.
Leonardo Da Vinci’s, Michalengelo’s drawings, paintings and sculpture made a deep impact on my drawing style. They are true master of art.
Gauguin, Vincent Van Gogh, Matisse, Monet, Miró, Picasso helped me to create my own style with their vibrant colors and free and unique styles of painting techniques. Their example liberated my developing artistic style.
Mark Tobey, Rothko, Kline, Mondrian and Warhol influenced me to feel free of all concepts I have ever seen and used before and encouraged me to leave behind all I studied.
You seem to apply your talents to a multiple areas of art and design. What do you think each one brings to your overall career as an artist?
I experienced that being a graphic designer helps a lot in creating my urban and figurative paintings. Creating photography, installations, sculptures, animation, motion picture are inspirational as well.
What movement and style would you define yourself as?
I work on different themes with different styles: I could describe my style of 5 elements as a bit of lyrical abstract (water series) and also a bit of calligraphic ( air series),symbolic ( fire and earth series), figurative ( human series).
My urban series are figurative, cartoonist, symbolic, pop and urban style. My style depends on the theme I depict.
You describe yourself as a mixed media artist, what is it that this gives you that having just one medium don’t?
I like to make experiments , using and trying different textures on different bases, it is like a free play with material and keeps my art spontaneous, innovative. These new researches are a great challenge for me when I work with new techniques. For instance gold and silver pigment with egg tempera mixed with acrylic paint can make magnificent layers on canvas or on paper.
Do you have a set way of working, process or a technique that you follow?
When the idea of my painting appears as a clear vision with full details of colors and shapes and textures in my mind, I draw it on a paper and after I paint it. I give space to spontaneous creation, so sometimes on canvas I change the original concept if I feel that would be better creating in a different way of composition or changing some colors.
If you had a dream exhibition who would you place your work with and why?
I would exhibie with zen calligraphers, Picasso and Miró. I also consider Van Gogh, Gauguin, Monet, Hundertwasser, Mondrian, Tobey, Rothko, Kline, great masters of art. I am inspired by their artworks a lot.
What was it that made you become an artist?
My first memory from my childhood was drawing on the walls of my parents house and that my drawing depicted „two tigers in a cage” was exhibited in kindergarten. I believe I was born to be an artist and two of my family members are talented artists as well. (poet and composer.)
Have you always liked the arts?
Yes, art for me is like air I breathe. Music, poetry and fine art are my favorites.
Have you faced many obstacles in your journey?As being an artist can be a tough industry.
In every profession there are obstacles and difficulties, we all have our own path to walk. From the beginning I learned from obstacles and difficulties a lot, to stay tough and to never give up my goals and keep continue painting.
Are you a commercial based artist?
No, not really. But I believe self commercials as blogs and websites are essential tools for an artist to present their portfolio for galleries, art dealers and buyers. Most of my invitations and contact requests, purchases I can thank for my website and social media profiles.
Are you currently working on anything new?
Yes, I was invited to a mail art exhibition „ Transfer” will be organized in 3 countries. ( Hungary, Greece, Denmark) It was a brand new experiment, painting on a very small, postcard size surface and sending it by real post. This is the first time I created a mail art piece, I usually like to paint in big size, so it was a bit of challenge painting with very small brushes small details.
Do you see your work changing direction?
Yes, there are and will be always changes in my artwork.
I usually change theme when I realize that a particular theme is fully completed and I can not send any new messages to the viewers . I do not feel like creating the same type of paintings all the time. That would be is dull with no challenge for me as an artist. I really like to start something brand new that keeps my spirit busy and fresh. Theme elements is quite variable as a mosaic or sight of kaleidoscope. In fact I still find endless variation possibilities in element theme.
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions?
Yes, „Transfer” exhibit in Hungary, Greece, Denmark.
What advice would you give another artist?
Since each of us has different reality and life experience, I prefer not giving advice to other artists. I just would like encourage all artists be themselves, enjoy painting like a child and be happy with their creation!
Brent Harris, whose home and studio are in Pacifica, California, hails from Indiana. He moved with his family to New England before he started first grade, where he lived until he graduated from high school in 1970. The following summer he hitch-hiked to California. He met the woman who became his wife and they have lived happily in the San Francisco Bay Area since. Continue reading “An interview with Brent Harris”
What made you become an artist?
I’ve always drawn and painted with no real ambition but I never really consciously wanted to be an artist, I just followed my interests and went where they led me. That said, I remember a teacher at junior school showing the class some “modern art’ and talking about colours and shapes. Continue reading “An Interview with Keith Brighthouse”