Saturday, September 19, 2009


I discovered Charley Harper years ago, while thumbing through a copy of Dwell. I was drawn in.

Mr. Harper's clean and simple representation of animals, objects, and environments coupled with a subdued palette, take on more than just an iconic or typographic appearance. They capture a movement or gesture of an animal, bringing his illustrations to life. Whether it's a crocodile sitting quietly in the water, waiting for its prey or even the provoked behavior of a finch, as it battles with its reflection, Charley Harper conveyed these moments of nature, exquisitely.
"When I look at a wildlife or nature subject, I don’t see the feathers in the wings, I just count the wings. I see exciting shapes, color combinations, patterns, textures, fascinating behavior and endless possibilities for making interesting pictures. I regard the picture as an ecosystem in which all the elements are interrelated, interdependent, perfectly balanced, without trimming or unutilized parts; and herein lies the lure of painting; in a world of chaos, the picture is one small rectangle in which the artist can create an ordered universe."

Mr. Harper passed on in 2007. He was 84. His legacy lives on in a book by Todd Oldham "CHARLEY HARPER AN ILLUSTRATED LIFE" (get this book and other publications by Mr. Parker at My Amazon Store for $32.97). Here too is a short movie that showcases the artist and his work.

A true genius.

+  savor more delightful work from Aardman with Creature Discomforts.

•> PH


DarinK said...

Excellent find PH!

I've loved Mr. Harper's work for decades too, but never knew the artist's name! Thank you for beinging him back to me... I'll take him from you and pass him onto my boys...


Phil Han said...

That's great. I can't believe his Biology book costs $145 on Amazon. I bet it's beautiful inside. Glad to help!

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