Dennis Harper

Region: South

A recent conceptual interest of mine is the painted portrait, in particular the depiction of the artist in his or her studio. These are all colleagues and friends who have invited me into their spaces and allowed me to document them with their works in progress. Along with the artists’ likenesses, I hope to capture a sense of their immersion in their art as well as the solitary nature of their endeavor. I use the ‘archaic’ process of egg tempera, a medium that imposes a certain stillness to the treatment of a subject through its slow, methodic, and cumulative means of creating an image. I try to exploit that characteristic to elicit in my paintings a feeling of stopped time and focused awareness. For these paintings I have come to favor a small scale and tight rendering that draw the viewer in close. The experience of looking at the miniature panel becomes a private, singular connection rather than the communal spectacle inherent in a much larger format.