oakland's urbanview

Itís THE BOX! Youíve seen it, you love it and now itís the cover.
Yes, thatís right, our cover is now real art by a real live local artist.

Jennifer Maria Harris

Featured Artist: Jennifer Maria Harris

Cover Art

Two Men Singing (Consonance)

oil on canvas

26" x 23.25"


Contact info:

UV: The figures in this painting look like they're posing for a camera. Do you often use or reference photography in your work?
JH: Although I don't use photographs directly in the process of creating a painting, I definitely think that a lot of my decisions, especially regarding composition, are affected by my interest in photography. With this piece in particular, I felt that a perspective similar to a snapshot allowed the viewer to feel both intimate with and separate from the "Men": the intimacy coming from a sense of familiarity, that these characters could be someone you know, and the separation coming from a sense of being their audience, standing outside of their connection with each other.

UV: What inspired you to create this piece?
JH: All of my paintings arrive out of a mess of color and shape and line, without a preconceived direction in terms of elements or theme. When the "Two Men" emerged, they instigated too many ideas to be encompassed in just one canvas, and so began a series called "Harmony" that is still in progress, with four completed. In this series, I am exploring the moments when we join with another person, whether it be a partner, co-worker, family member, or even a stranger, and function with them as essentially one entity. All of these pieces have two titles, the first describing the external reality of the piece, such as "Two Men Singing", and the second, in parentheses, giving a general sense of the internal direction in the form of a musical term, such as "(Consonance)."

UV: Talk about your use of color.
JH: I have to admit to having begun my career as a painter with a terrible color prejudice. For years I was afraid that if I used too much vibrant color, it would make my work appear too lightweight or superficial. Luckily, about five years ago I finally got over it, and since then I have had a lot of fun using all of the colors I used to have so many preconceptions about.

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