“Equilibrium”, by Gerard Kirk Harris, is designed as a sculptural-painting, interacting with and framing the sky and all the elements around it. It can be seen on the sidewalk near City Hall all summer long.
Harris likens sculpture as akin to working with a light bulb: a sculpture will influence the space it is in by projecting its character, just as a light bulb projects light. His sculptural- paintings take this one step further. By “painting on landscape”, the pieces impact the space more directly, by affecting one’s view of the landscape. The pieces are primarily two-dimensional, and are as much paintings as sculptures, so he calls them paintings. They utilize transparent and open areas in the design to allow the landscape to show through and enter the piece. The transparency also affects the view of the landscape by tinting it a new color or adding a texture. The paintings are balanced with the landscape to create an interplaying composition. Even so, the balanced composition will change as the day progresses and the lighting changes.
Harris designs his sculptural-paintings with the intended landscape in mind. A more dynamic landscape makes for a more dynamic painting, and a more powerful painting design draws the eye to the painting, while a simple, open design draws the eye through the painting to view the tinted landscape. The color tinting acts like the French pointillist principle, where color is added, not removed as in a filter. The viewer still sees the landscape in full color, but it is tinted by the screen. This creates a direct relationship between the landscape and the sculptural-painting.
“Equilibrium” was designed with children in mind, interacting with the environment and using bright colors and fun shapes. The screens were designed to be high, giving it a lot of interplay with the sky. Clouds, clear blue sky, sunrises, sunsets and rain all influence this work. Rain in particular will fill holes in some areas with water, forming patterns that give the painting still another dynamic, reflecting and refracting sunlight and street lights.Gerard is a graduate of California State University Fresno, with a BA degree in art, specializing in sculpture and screen process printing. He spent two years studying engineering, which influenced his work, giving it a geometric, mathematical feel, as well as the structural integrity necessary for his larger pieces. His work can be seen in public exhibits in CA, and is also held in a private collection in Florida.
Photo by Tedd Peterson
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