R. Patrick Harris


About the Artist

These paintings of clocks and roller coasters are images of concepts. When you look at them, you are not so much looking at a thing as you are thinking about an idea. To me, the paintings are ideas. I take an image and imagine it painted on a template – the template being an alteration of the national flag of Greece. It is then painted as imagined, directly as possible. The method of painting is precise, nearly eliminating gesture and the action of painting. Anything extraneous to the idea that is the painting is avoided in the final result.

The abstract concept of time independent of time keeping devices exists since antiquity. Painting a scrambled set of clocks that refer to the four time zones in the continental United States is a way to paint about the concept of time and a time keeping device simultaneously. These paintings are about time. At other times, I think they are about clocks.

Another interesting clock is the Dooms Day Clock invented by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in 1947. The clock is re-set annually to inform the public about threats to the survival and development of humanity from nuclear weapons, climate change and disruptive technology. Its current setting is two minutes to midnight. Mine is painted in fluorescent red and yellow and does not calibrate a specific time to midnight.

In another set of paintings, an image of the Cyclone roller coaster on Coney Island is visible. Cyclones/hurricanes are becoming more powerful due to climate change and global warming and each painting is named after one of the more severe, recent hurricanes. As a people, we built this roller coaster of weather and now witness its beauty and destructive power.

The painting, Snow, depicts four images of Mount Denali. Half the snow is yellow, half the snow is white. As a child, my friends would say: “Don’t eat yellow snow” because it’s been pissed on. White or yellow . . .

R. Patrick Harris
Mountain Standard
Pacific Standard Time
Dooms Day Clock