Russell Z. Harris
I have always been inspired and humbled by the still life and figurative paintings done by 17th and 19th century European artists. These paintings were not just technical marvels to me, but engaging and dramatic allegories of historical, personal and religious themes. In my paintings, I am trying to tap into some of the qualities that I admire so much in those European paintings. By using paint as a vehicle to illustrate my stories and ideas, I am allowed to create my own visual universe. I am able to display aspects of what I do as well as those of the people and things that I come in contact with on a day-to-day basis. As an artist, husband, father and teacher at The Latin School of Chicago, I have been exposed to a variety of subject matters and their life stories. In making a visual connection between those that I am around, I have found that it helps me to build a stronger relationship with those individuals. As I continue to produce art, I intend to depict more narrative themes that will invite the viewer into my visual world.