About the Artist
Jeff Harris is a commercial and fine art photographer based in Tribeca, New York City.
He creates images for a wide variety of clients including IBM, Schick, Johnson & Johnson, Vogue Magazine, Nylon Magazine and many others. He teaches photographic lighting at New York University, where he is a regular adjunct instructor. His work was chosen by Polaroid for their 2002 international calendar. Three of the images from "Photosynthesis" will appear in Graphis Floral Design, 2002. He is currently working on his next project that focuses on recent travels to Morocco and Malaysia.
Jeff lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn with his wife, Diana and his dog, Jack.
These photographs were made using Polaroid Type 55 Pos/Neg film. The silver gelatin prints are sepia toned and then selenium toned to the highest archival standards.
"With light, the world is witness to all. The spectator relies on light to see, to guide him, to move him.
Photographer Jeff Harris's images of flowers illustrate the concept of photosynthesis, the chemical process by which plants use light to convert carbon dioxide and water into matter, releasing oxygen as a by-product. Cut flowers, in particular, experience an accelerated life cycle, especially in the photo shoot. In this way flowers are ephemeral. They bud, they bloom, wither and die. What guides them through life, and their existence in nature, is light.
Harris' studio light envelops and give life to the subjects it falls upon. In his black & white photographs, the plants become monumental. They tower in front of the viewer. Often decorative and familiar, we see many here as if for the first time. We are encouraged to look beyond their expected beauty. Indeed, Harris's photographs reveal both the beauty and monstrosity of the flower. Here the photographer examines the architecture and composition, and the intricacies of nature's designs. The paradoxical quality of the flower is enabled through the uses of lighting and the quality of the Polaroid negative film. The extreme close up view captures their vitality; we see the coursing veins and textured skin.
Harris has brought them to larger than life size, illustrating each plant's strong determination to thrive, without denying their delicateness as a flower. He enables the viewer to look at each stem magnified to witness how light has guided them through their twists and turns, to their rise and inevitably, to their fall.
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