Collection: Shawn Ray Harris

Anthropomorphic photography, with a touch of absurdity.
Four Corners photographer Shawn Ray Harris composites scenes of animal-human hybrid characters to interrogate how human activity continues to intersect with the lives of other animals. His strongest images have a certain balance of discomfort, aesthetic intrigue and a fine line between humor and absurdity.
 

About the Artist

Shawn Ray Harris grew up in Salt Lake City, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in painting, filmmaking and photography from the University of Utah. The award of a National Endowment for the Arts grant helped him build a portfolio, and gain the confidence to move to an intimate artists’ community in San Francisco. Living with a group of professional artists in the beautiful think-tank of the city for eight years, he developed his aesthetic/language.

In the summer of 2012, Shawn took his first anthropomorphic pictures. Those initial images were enough for him to step back and completely change his aesthetic direction. Today, his anthropomorphic photography plays on the idea that we humans impact nature in ways that force animals into new [“unnatural”] environments. We are constantly encroaching upon their habitats directly, and indirectly. Harris’ images express and explore the tension in these encounters, with a comic yet disturbing touch.  

He photographs his work in the landscape, using one shot to capture the scene, including the character(s). At times, the background is photographed first, and a corresponding ‘character’ is developed in the studio. Other times, the character is photographed in the studio first, inspiring a background. Shawn often composites a piece by assembling multiple images one on top of another. Compositing offers more control, allowing him to make interesting choices.

Shawn has left the ‘concrete jungle’ for a small town in Colorado, and now lives in a house built in 1890 on the border of New Mexico.

 

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