Fordham University Graduation - May 19, 2001
QUOTES BY WHICH I LIVE:
"The life of the creative man is led, directed, and controlled by boredom. Avoiding boredom is one of our most important purposes."
Saul Steinberg (1914 - 1999), Romanian-American cartoonist and "The New Yorker" magazine illustrator
"Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple."
Charles Mingus (1922 - 1979), American jazz bassist
NAME: Jeffrey Allen Peter John Harris
BIRTHPLACE: New York, New York
CURRENT RESIDENCE: Las Vegas, Nevada
EDUCATION: Bachelor of Arts in English Literature; Fordham University - 2001
PROFESSION: Elementary school and middle school art teacher; artist
ARTISTIC STYLE: Paintings - Figurative abstraction; Drawings - Minimalist realism
FAVORITE PAINTING COLORS: Red, purple, and blue
FAVORITE SUBJECTS: Women's Rights' Issues, Men's Rights' Issues, Dancers, Couples, Body Image Issues (Plus-Sized women, Female Bodybuilders, and "Skinny-Minnie" Models), Religion, Mythology
MARITAL STATUS: Happily married since 1998
HOBBIES OUTSIDE OF ART: Playing sports (basketball, golf, and kickball - with my students), watching sports (all types, especially basketball, football, tennis, and baseball), surfing the Internet, reading (artist biographies, art magazines, classic literature, inspirational quotations, and comic books), collecting pictures and magazines, exercising (weightlifting, running, jumping rope, and playing sports), watching television (especially "Cheers", "The Practice", "Aqua Teen Hungerforce", "Big Brother", "General Hospital, "Young & the Restless", "The Amazing Race", "Spongebob Squarepants", and "Mind of Mencia"), listening to music (R&B, jazz, classical, big band, and 80's and early-90's rap), and spending time with my wife
ARTISTIC INFLUENCES: Graffiti, comic books, cartoons (the Flintstones and Top Cat, mainly), comic strips (especially The Peanuts), and artists such as Michelangelo, Tamara de Lempicka, Artemesia Gentileschi, John Singer Sargent, Phillp Pearlstein, Frida Kahlo, and Edward Hopper
OTHER PERTINENT INFORMATION:
Color and shape have always been the focal points of my existence. Growing up in one of the more impoverished sections of the Bronx, New York, in the 1970's and 1980's, I needed my imagination to escape the drabness of my childhood. The vivid pictures, in my head, replaced the bland images of my immediate surroundings.
Color and shape have always helped to bring objects to life, for me, more than any other aspect of its being. Size and mass and texture have always taken a backseat to hue and contour.
Detail is wonderful. For me, though, creating paintings with a LACK of detail has always been tremendously inspiring and challenging. Any observer can make out a forest if every leaf is painstakingly rendered. In my mind, such overstatement is an insult to the intelligence of the viewer. Adhering to the "less is more" tenet, I invite the viewer to bring their own experiences into their interpretation of something to which I aspire as more than just a pretty picture. I convey my vision with as much emotion as possible - with as little detail as possible. Endeavoring to accomplish that delicate balance....that's the hard part....that's the fun part. It's capturing that "fun part" that compels me to paint every day.