I Had Seen, But Not Connected

“In 2006 I had an epiphany... I had an epiphany that caused me to pick up my camera and re-evaluate the world around me.” - from the artist

I realized I had been sleepwalking through my surroundings for twenty years. I had “seen” but not been “connected” to my world for a very long time. Some serious introspection resulted in the following observations:

As we all grow older, I feel we lose touch with the child within us and become jaded, missing the new, magical and wondrous nature of our surroundings that mystifies and fascinates our children. Spend some time observing a toddler and you will find they are like sponges with sneakers, absorbing every bit of their environment, asking limitless questions of their elders and peers and filing it all away for future reference. Every second of every day, they are learning new things and coming to grips with their surroundings. As adults, we tend to lose our sense of wonder, having long ago filed away everything we see. Now, I try to preserve in myself the childlike wonder one sees in small children as they explore their new world. I consciously take the time daily to appreciate my surroundings and examine the minutiae that make up the world around me. With this viewpoint in mind, the images I produce are my attempt to present the magical nature of our surroundings in a manner so unique as to seem “new” again.

Earthbound, 2009. Photography, 19 x 28 inches

Earthbound, 2009. Photography, 19 x 28 inches

I suppose I see myself as half photojournalist, half historian and half artist. Wait... Math was never my strong suit. Is that right?

As a photojournalist, I'm trying to tell the individual story of each scene or subject I portray. Each unique object has it's own place in the universe and a story associated with the time and space it occupies.

The history of our environment needs to be preserved and I find myself attempting to accomplish exactly that with many of my images, especially where grave sites and desolate subjects are concerned. Since much of this will succumb to decay at some point, I would like to do my part in preserving these objects for future generations.

As an artist I strive to create artistic statements and, frequently resort to altered reality to convey the qualities that drew me to the subject in the first place. The essence of the person, place or thing that attracted me to it originally, is what I strive to illustrate via manipulation and creative control.

Little Elm, 2007. Infrared photography, 40 x 22 inches

Little Elm, 2007. Infrared photography, 40 x 22 inches

My influences range from O. Winston Link, Richard Avedon, Vargas, Maxfield Parrish and Andy Warhol to the advertising geniuses who have shaped our culture over the last fifty years.

I hope my work moves you to see your surroundings with new eyes, explore it as a child and appreciate your world as someone who has been given a second chance at life.

In closing, let me just say that I LOVE what I do. I LOVE capturing the very essence of a person, place, thing or event in a single image. I live by the idiom "A picture is worth a thousand words." I live for challenges and creating those timeless, memorable images that make people say "Oh Wow!" This was the most common reaction to my work over the many years we were doing the art show circuit and it was - and still is very gratifying to have my work elicit this response.

Music Lessons 098, 2012. Photography, 35 x 23 inches

Music Lessons 098, 2012. Photography, 35 x 23 inches

About the artist:

Warren Paul Harris (b. 1950, US)
warren@warrenharris.net warrenpaulharris.com    

Correspondence Course Photography in 1970
College of Marin, Art Course(s) 1992

He bought his first 35mm SLR camera, a Praktica IV-F, in 1970. After the 1971 earthquake, the widespread loss of power (and insomnia), encouraged Mr. Harris to explore time-exposure photography.

Working for Motown Records opened the doors to live performance photography, which proved to be a natural fit along with his background as a guitarist since the age of 14 – and a Grateful Dead roadie in 1968  He has photographed numerous artists. Moving his family back to Marin County in 1975, Mr. Harris began his career as a Recording Engineer, working with numerous artists, photographing their performances and promo materials, and honing his skills. In 1981, with increased fiscal responsibilities, Mr. Harris, as he puts it “hung up his cameras” to pursue a more lucrative career in the technical field. Mr. Harris credits an art class taken in 1992, with improving his appreciation of art and his com-positional skills, while confirming his belief in an inability to draw anything recognizable. He has freelanced for local newspapers, magazines and international publications. Warren  shoots for local businesses and government and participates in art shows. His work is on permanent display in City buildings, Frisco Square, Ebby Halliday offices and homes of collectors across the Metroplex.
Often referred to as a “Renaissance Man”, Mr. Harris loves cabinet making, welding, playing guitar, creating projects and is as comfortable with electricity and electronics as with woodworking and plastic fabrication. He is an Amateur Radio operator and is active in the  storm spotter network. Warren was an accomplished calligrapher, a skill taught to him by a  friend in 1969. Warren sleeps less than 5 hours a night, proclaiming “There's plenty of time to sleep when you're dead.” He loves to prowl the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex in the wee hours past midnight in pursuit of dramatic nocturnal city-scapes.

To view more work by the artist, please visit warrenharris.net. You may also follow the artist on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WarrenPaulHarrisPhoto as well as Instagram @warrenpaulharris.

You may also learn more about the artist and his work at warrenharris.net/blog2.


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