Contact me at 760 705 7439 or email at Azulfineart@yahoo.com
WITH YOUR HANDS
22 The Boulevard Magazine | September 2008
San Diego artist Gary Harper reinvented himself in middle age from another
profession to become full-time
commercial artist in the second half
of his life.
Harper is a self-taught artist whose
first half of life was as a corporate
executive, mainly as a director of
marketing and sales. He had been
painting since he was a teen, but only
became a commercial artist after he
decided to change careers.
“I went back to look at what made
me successful in my business career
and it came back to my love of art,”
he recalls. In 1997 at the age of 43 he
“I determined to go ahead and
pursue art. I did some paintings and
the response was good. I said ‘I’m
going to do this!"
Eventually he quit what he was doing before to practice art fulltime.
He developed a marketing plan
and pursued the galleries that did
his type of work.
He was accepted and began to
sell his works.
When they say, “my type of art,”
they mean abstract expressionist, art
that is non-figurative, is an expression
of the artist’s feelings, emotions—
a spontaneous process. Based
mostly on textures and colors. It
could be abstracted landscapes. It
could be taking a memory of a scene
and translating it to color. It’s a subjective
interpretation of reality.
One of his biggest customers is
Valley View Casino. Once the refuge
of kitsch and pop culture, today’s
casinos are sometimes also the
patrons of the fine arts to some of its
most creative modern practitioners—
having the same relationship as the
Medicis or the Borgias had to artists
like Leonardo or Michelangelo.
He painted some striking
abstract impressionist pieces that
you will see in some of the new facilities
of Valley View Casino, such as
Seventy of his paintings hang in
various parts of the casino, in executive
offices and restaurants.
Some are sculptural, like the mandalas
made of metals and resins and
built up in multi-dimensions that
Harper is known for. His paintings
are all textural, taking the term
“painting” to a new level.
His work began to appear in
the Michael Collins Gallery in
Escondido. He pursued other art
galleries, and was eventually
accepted in some of the best in the
region, including the Denise
Roberge in Palm Desert, the Tracy
Renee Gallery in Escondido, the
Obernier in La Jolla and the
Elizabeth Edwards in Palm Desert