Allen Dean Harris


Various Details



I believe that images have capability to transform our lives, that pictures possess the potential to facilitate a deeper understanding of the nature of our existence. Our world, and our individual experiences, are constantly being inundated with images, from advertisements to the personal collections we create and share. I believe this to be because images have the ability to tell intricate and complex stories that are worth more than a thousand words. Images can become a transcendent form of communication that possess the ability to express things previously inexpressible. Images and pictures create our memories, and in turn create who we are, as well as provide a system to organize how we consider ourselves and how we experience our desires, our fears, and our beliefs. I seek to use the images I create as a vehicle to communicate, to break down the complex pain and fear that isolates people and divides them from each other. I believe art has the ability to do that, and that through images a language manifests that reveals the delicate complexity of our experience, while also facilitating a penetrating connection that overpowers divisive misunderstandings.

I have chosen to use oil paint to create the images I compose because of its ability to generate vibrant, luminescent color. And color has the ability to clearly resonate with the elusive and complex emotions deep inside each individual. Oil painting also possesses a rich and extensive history, one of the most elaborate and diverse in all of Western Culture. This history presents an abundant and expansive dialogue to which all painters are given the opportunity to contribute.


The Doll Still-Lives

Unfamiliar Cities    2010

Unfamiliar Cities


Around 2008 I began collecting dolls, figurines, and puppets, and then using them to compose scenes on tables, often with curtains. This, plus other elements, were used to parallel a theatricality in the staged domain of these characters. They became "Figurative Still-lives", with theatrical reference connected to the idea of the "Willful Suspension of Disbelief".


The Suspended Theater

Paintings are still images, separated from time like memories. And like the theater, painting asks the viewer to forgo the apparent realities, that painting is only minerals and oil on flat surface and theater is only actors, and accept the display of human imitation, relation and communication.



Pop is the most important, most versatile, and most influential movement in recent Art History. It's very nature to use common-place images and objects, from popular and commercial culture, allows Pop to constantly evolve into new dialogues. Pop will never become irrelevant because it only reflects what a society creates, and what a society wants.


Object Still-lives

I learned to paint through composing complex still-lives that always seemed to focus on how light creates colors and reveals objects. Reflections and shadows have always interested me too, due to their transitory and illusory nature that shift and bend at the slights change of view-point.