Charley Harper had an alternative way of looking at nature. His serigraphs were large expanses of rich color, which gave the viewer a very different perspective on the animal kingdom. A conservationist, as well as an artist, Harper revealed the unique aspects of his wildlife subjects through highly stylized geometric reduction which he coined “minimal realism.” There was a rare and delightful playfulness in Harper’s artwork. There was also a graphic genius. Harper said, “When I look at a wildlife or nature subject, I don’t see feathers, fur, scapulars, or tail coverts—none of that. I see exciting shapes, color combinations, patterns, textures, fascinating behavior, and endless possibilities for making interesting pictures. I regard the picture as an ecosystem in which all the elements are interrelated, interdependent, perfectly balanced, without trimming or unutilized parts; and herein lies the lure of painting: in a world of chaos, the picture is one small rectangle in which the artist can create an ordered universe. Wildlife art has been dominated by realism, but I have chosen to do it differently because I think flat, hard-edged, and simple.” Charley Harper’s unique minimalist approach is unmistakable.
Printed vinyl with a cushioned back. Made in the USA.
3′ x 5′
“Ever see the red-bellied woodpecker perch on a birch, potato beetle in beak? Neither did the artist, so he painted this picture to find out how it would look. This is the bird with the belly that baffles beginning birders, so its zebra back is turned toward you to avoid a credibility crisis: could you ever again trust the names of the golden-cheeked warbler, the rufous-sided towhee, the rose-breasted grosbeak—even the blue-footed booby—after seeing the red-belly’s belly? It’s almost all white!” – Charley Harper