Monday, October 12, 2009

SF Open Studios Report: Shawn Ray Harris

photo © Marianna Whang, 2009 All rights Reserved

My favorite new find this year: Shawn Ray Harris. I saw him in his studio at Developing Environments (540 Alabama Street #220, San Francisco). He describes his work as "photography and such." But that's a faint description of his powerful, fascinating, unique work.

His work is photo-based but frankly it didn't occur to me until much later that photography was the common denominator in all his pieces. He uses witty manifestations of archetypal imagery in huge constructions that he calls "sculptography." They're made up of large format hand-toned BW prints mounted on wooden panels with multiple cutouts and embedded objects, including neon, vending machines, retail racks, and other fascinating ephemera.

"Seed Seller" is a life-sized image of a sports stadium food vendor wearing a hat labeled "Preexistence." The vendor is peddling seed packets which are displayed in a metal rack mounted to the panel with leather straps. The seed packets each have an image and description of a particular kind of human incarnation. The prices for these incarnations vary widely.
(Image at right from the artist's web site, ©Shawn Ray Harris 2008, all rights reserved)

3D photography is his current passion and there's plenty of it there, but he goes farther with it than anyone I've seen. He's selling unframed limited edition prints of 3D photo-based line drawings, packaged with the 3D glasses. Many of the images are classic San Francisco scenes, but some are dreamlike images. He calls them "anaglyphs." (Image at left © Marianna Whang, 2009 All rights Reserved)

He's a big guy, but very shy, and relatively new in town. He says he's looking for spaces to do some woodworking and welding.

Shawn Ray Harris
Developing Environments
540 Alabama Street #220, San Francisco

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