Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to announce Carla Jay Harris: A Season in the Wilderness, the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition will be on view from September 4 through October 30, 2021 with an opening reception to be held on Saturday, September 18th from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Appointments are optional and may be made at luisdejesus.com/contact.
With an interest in documenting intellectual, emotional, and psychological environments, Harris’ recent body of work, a development of her ongoing Celestial Bodies series begun in 2018, was created in direct response to the pandemic and social unrest that have gripped the world. In this series of large-scale works on paper, Harris crafts an allegory for grief featuring a collection of archetypal characters on an emotional journey through a surreal landscape. Narrative plays a fundamental role in this series which explores human nature, specifically themes of power, helplessness, loss, death, and rebirth. Elements of classic storytelling, including monomyth, conflict, and resolution, are imbued throughout the sequence. By transporting the viewer into her unique perception, Harris aims to inspire them to ask their own questions about life, time, and mortality.
Trained as a photographer and cinematographer, Carla Jay Harris developed a multidisciplinary practice that includes photography, installation, collage and drawing. Her works are inspired by a desire to bring together her interests in image-making, space, and storytelling. Harris's creative process starts with research and writing, drawing from scholars, interviews, local history, and her family archives to ground her work in lived experiences. Her work combines photography with diverse media and techniques. She begins by photographing models in the studio according to the narrative that she is developing and builds images in layers through a digital painting and digital collage process, incorporating her own original patterns, scenery, and textures, along with hand-painted embellishments. The resulting work disrupts expectations by blurring the line between photography and painting, abstraction and representation, and traditional analog painting and new media technologies.
Carla Jay Harris was born in Indianapolis, IN. She received her MFA from UCLA in 2015, a Bachelor’s degree with distinction from the University of Virginia, and completed post-Baccalaureate studies at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Harris’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at the California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA; the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV; the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, CA; Museum of Fine Arts Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada; Colorado Photographic Arts Center, Denver, CO; the Southern, Charleston, SC; Moorpark Gallery, Moorpark College, Ventura, CA; Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY; and Paris Photo, Grand Palais Ephemere, Paris, France. She was awarded a 2020 residency at ACRE in Steuben, WI, and has been the beneficiary of several grants and fellowships, including the Hoyt Scholarship, Resnick Fellowship and a grant from the Pasadena Art Alliance.
Harris’ works are included in the collections of USC Fischer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; California African American Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Museum of Art and History, Lancaster, CA; Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA; Escalette Permanent Collection of Art at Chapman University, Orange, CA; Museum of Fine Arts, Sherbrook, Quebec, Canada; Los Angeles County Public Art Collection, Los Angeles, CA; and numerous private collections. Carla Jay Harris lives and works in Los Angeles.