GREGORY FRANK HARRIS BIOGRAPHY
Gregory Frank Harris was born in Downey, California in 1953. By age five, he was already drawing and sculpting. By age eight he learned to play piano by ear. His mother, Marie, was an artist and his father, Frank, was an electrician and miner. He has a twin brother, Brian, who is a drummer and curator of Entomology at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. His older sister, Diana, was a pastel artist and a Reverend in Scientology. His older half brother, Steven Irish, is a graphic designer and an actor in television and film in L.A.
Throughout high school Gregory excelled in art, theater and music. In his senior year he worked in ceramics, in particular raku glaze firing methods. In 1972 he studied voice, ceramics and theater at Long Beach University and Golden West College.
During 1973 he began playing professionally in various nightclubs around L.A. and San Francisco. While playing in Spokane, WA in 1977 he bought John Rewald’s book The History of Impressionism. Inspired by those artists, he started to experiment with impressionistic painting techniques later creating his own 19th century style paintings.
Around 1980, after copying several old master paintings, his artist and actor friend Mike Falco sold some of those paintings, including Gainsborough’s The Blue Boy to Columbia Motion Pictures for the film Annie. Later, artist agent Stan Shevrin of Leslie Art Inc. sold his 19th century American Impressionist style paintings, pastels and watercolors to galleries across the U.S.
In September and October of 1985, he studied at the Art Students League in New York under David Leffel, Gustave Rehberger and Robert Maione. In 1987 Simic Galleries in Carmel, CA gave him his first one-man show.
In 1991, he and his former wife, Wendy Martin, who modeled for many of his paintings, moved to Duxbury, MA There he explored plein air painting and studied the techniques of Russian artist Nicolai Fechin and landscape and figure painter Richard Schmid.
While he was exploring modern and contemporary art in 1993, he began to study the works of Warhol, Basquiat and Rauschenberg.
After moving to Santa Fe, NM in 1996, his 19th century style paintings were taken on by The Crane Collection in Boston and Rehs Galleries in New York City. Hammer Galleries, also in New York, gave him four one-man shows.
In 2000 he moved to Lyme, CT where he showed his work at various exhibitions at the historical Lyme Art Association. While there he also taught several instructional workshops. In September of 2001 he traveled to London, and then visited Paris, and Monet’s garden and home in Giverny. In 2002, having read that the German modernist Gerhard Richter used squeegees to create his abstracts, he began experimenting with various techniques to apply paint. Soon he embarked on a journey into the realm of landscape as abstraction.
In 2003 he moved back to Santa Fe where he currently has his home and studio. His abstracted landscapes are currently shown at Hunter Kirkland Contemporary in Santa Fe and at Acosta Strong Fine Art in Oklahoma City. His figurative works are shown at Jane Hamilton Fine Art in Tucson, AZ. Rehs Galleries in New York City continues to show his 19th century style paintings.
In 2009 he was featured on the cover of the January issue of Southwest Art magazine and also in the book Art Journey New Mexico. In 2016 the September issue of American Art Collector ran an article titled “Southwestern Light.”
Also of note, throughout the years, Gregory has donated numerous artworks to local charities such as Southwest Care Center, Española Valley Humane Society, and the Human Rights Alliance, Santa Fe.