PRESS RELEASE – Kopeikin Gallery
Carla Jay Harris
March 25th – April 27th
Kopeikin Gallery is pleased to announce our sixth Artsy online-exclusive show featuring the work of Carla Jay Harris. This is her first show with the gallery.
Celestial Bodies, an on-going series of large-scale works on paper, bridges the gap between myth and reality. I employ a combination of photography, drawing, and illustration to achieve this effect. I am endlessly fascinated by the intersection between fact and fiction – particularly how interplay amid the two can transgress unwritten social laws. Through the fantastical visual language of my past I speak directly to contemporary society’s politics of toxic nationalism and xenophobia. It is my hope that works such as these lead to the reimagining of society as more inclusive whole.
In creating Celestial Bodies, I was influenced by the works of Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Lorna Simpson and Gustav Klimt. I also found the histories of Surrealism and Afrofuturism useful in the rearranging of preconceived realities.
“I start each body of work with an aspect of my personal experience that I wish to explore, advancing into compositions in which human nature is the primary subject. My most recent work, Celestial Bodies, takes to task, an examination and critique of myth-making, othering and belonging.”
Celestial Bodies, was inspired by the artist’s experience as a third culture kid. As a child, she spent a significant chunk of her developmental years living outside the United States - primarily in Italy and Germany. This was a surreal experience that permanently shifted her perception of belonging. Says Harris: “Othered by race, language, culture, and nationality, I was drawn to mythology. Throughout history, mythology has served humankind’s need to understand its surroundings, nature and society. Through myth-making I have been able to tap into a sense of belonging that extends from a connection to universal cultural concerns and narratives.”
Born in Indianapolis, IN, but raised traveling the globe as the child of a military officer, Carla Harris’ social and artistic development was impacted tremendously by the geopolitical and natural environments she encountered. She fervently believes that space (physical and physiological) has a fundamental, lasting impact on personal identity. While the environment around us is constantly evolving, contemporary art has the power to capture humanity in a place, in a moment - transforming a flicker in time into a lasting, appreciable statement. Carla’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, Granada and Quebec. She completed undergraduate coursework at the School of Visual Arts in New York, received her Bachelor’s degree with distinction from the University of Virginia, and her MFA from UCLA in 2015. She currently lives/works in Glendale, CA.