Porcelain painted self-portrait mask. All hand made, designed and painted by D.R. Harris
Painting heads has been a decade-long project with over 650 extant examples. Mr. Harris calls the pictures “heads,” as they are not true portraits, but representations of types, or the impression that a sitter or observed person projects. They range from informal sketches to wildly abstract versions of the real and imagined.
Most of the head paintings were made on iPhone or iPad using various painting apps. The impetus to use digital mobile devices to make art came from Mr. Harris’s longtime friend and colleague, Patricio Villarroel-Bórquez, a legendary musician and artist based in Paris.
The book Painting Heads is a teaser for a more complete volume that will contain the cream over 700 heads made over the last decade.Painting-Heads
All the sculptures in this series are made from a stump of a mangrove tree found floating in Sarasota Bay four years ago. The wood was riddled with holes made by Teredo navalis, or the shipworm, a marine clam that bores into most woods in salt water environments. The shipworm was the bane of the wooden ship navies.
A friend, John Lynch, delivered it to my home where I let it dry out for two years. To make the sculptures I chiseled small pieces from a piece of the main root that had broken off when I accidentally dropped the stump. I glued and shaped these pieces into sculptures. The bases are stones and tiles rescued from building sites. The broken piece of the stump is in my studio, but the bulk of the mangrove is living in my Zen garden where it is being further distressed by termites.
The title is a word-play on the 1521 Diet (an assembly) of (at) Worms, convened by the Holy Roman Emporer, King Charles V, to address Martin Luther’s protestant uprising. In this case, the wood used to make the sculptures had been the diet of shipworms.