image influence: charles harper

Indulging in my ongoing obsession with wildlife-inspired graphics, I recently came across Charles Harper. In a style he called “minimal realism”, Charley Harper looked at nature as a series of shapes, patterns and textures, all amounting to a colorful phantasmagoria that inspires his simplified and controlled compositions.

“There’s some who want to count all the feathers in the wings and then others who never think about counting the feathers,” said Harper. He describes his paintings as “an ecosystem” in which all elements are “interrelated, interdependent, perfectly balanced, without trimming or unutilized parts.” Sounds like a good goal for creative work in general (although I confess to having a weakness for the “trimmings” every once in a while).

Read more in Dwell, or see his work (thanks to grain edit) The ABC’s, The Giant Golden Book of Biology, or in The Ford Times. Or, Todd Oldham just edited a definitive monograph of Harper’s work, lovingly designed, and list priced to move (sold out on Amazon, in fact!) at $200.

7 Responses to “image influence: charles harper”

  1. Fabulous Frames & Art Says:

    There are two more Charley Harper books that have recently been reprinted — Beguiled by the Wild, which is a smaller coffeetable-type book [and less expensive!] than An Illustrated Life, and also Birds & Words, which pairs his illustrations with his funny, punny captions.

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