Artist Profile

Steve Harris Ferner Represented Artist


Self-taught realist painter Steve Harris was born in Dunedin and although he has painted all his life, it was not until 1977 that his painting and a sense of purpose came together, that is to draw viewers into the subject, by exploring form and the life which it holds. This process occurs through the manipulation of light and perspective of which Harris is a master.

Working in acrylics, watercolours and pencil, Harris' inspiration comes from within, from the beauty around him and from a desire to blend theological symbolism with art. Everyday objects - fresh fruit, vegetables, kitchen utensils, old tins, boxes, eggs, porcelain - form the basis of his compositions, and all are imbued with 'new life' as he strives to achieve the best quality of light possible.

A singular aspect of his work is the ability to render the object in a trompe-l'oiel manner while paradoxically reminding the viewer with his gestural backgrounds that his objects sit on a flat surface.

Often likened in style to American artist Andrew Wyeth, Steve Harris captures a photographic realism in his paintings - "limitless skies and breathless stillness". His paintings are typically 'unpeopled', but Harris says rather than incorporating the human form, he is more concerned with the effects of human life and the symbols of human existence.

Harris exhibits annually in Australia and exclusively with Ferner Galleries in New Zealand. In 1993 he exhibited in New Zealand Realists at the Robert McDougall Gallery Christchurch winning the ACTA Maritime Art Award, Sydney the same year. He won the Montana Art Award in 1984 and has work in the collection of Robert McDougall Gallery, B.H.P. Melbourne, Australian Wheat Board, Huka Lodge, Baring Securities (Australia) Ltd and the Southland Building Society.

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