ArtSeen: A Conversation with Brian Harmon

click to enlarge Artwork from Harmon's The Fear of Forgetting installation.
Artwork from Harmon's The Fear of Forgetting installation.

Brian Harmon, an artist and educator from Taylor Mill, Ky., delights eyes with his photographic and installation artwork. Harmon uses his artwork as a means to communicate themes such as memory, memory loss and archiving. He took time out of his schedule to speak with ArtSeen about his artwork and his artistic methods.—-

ArtSeen: Can you tell us a little about your artwork, artistic process, and what types of artistic materials you use?

Brian Harmon: My work is generally a combination of photography and installation. Large prints, alternative printing surfaces and non-traditional display methods are all in my bag of tricks. I prefer to shoot mostly with medium format film but scan and print digitally.

AS: What inspires you as an artist? Why do you create art?

BH: I am inspired to create art as a means of communication. I’m not the most outgoing or talkative individual. However, I have a lot to say. My art gives me way to speak volumes to a large audience without having to ever open my mouth.

AS: What types of themes, ideas or concepts do you explore within in your artwork?

BH: Recently, I have been exploring the concepts of memory, memory loss and the archive. I have had several close relatives lose their entire personal histories to dementia. The idea of this loss of the precious and how one might store up/insure against such loss has really resonated with me and has become the focus of my work over the past few years. 

AS: Are there any artists that inspire you? If so who would they be and why?

BH: Stephen Shore’s celebration of the banal has really inspired my photography. I love how his American Surfaces work first looks so simplistic, yet narratives and cross-connections can spring from the images over and over again.

Check out Shawn Buckenmeyer's full ArtSeen interview here.

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