Today we’d like to introduce you to Carla Jay Harris.
Carla, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I began my career as a documentary photographer. I worked in that capacity (primarily in New York) for nearly ten years. For most of that time, I thrived on the energy and challenges of photojournalism. However, towards the end and over time I began to feel bit constrained – constrained not only by the practical limits of journalism but also the demands of a commercial art practice. In reaction to these feelings, my interest in fine art blossomed.
I made the decision to commit myself totally to a contemporary art practice 7 years ago. In furtherance of that goal I relocated to Southern California to get my MFA at UCLA in 2012 and have been in the area ever since.
Also, of note, as the child of a military man, I spent my childhood in flux – moving every 2-3 years for the first half of my life. This pattern of transience continued into adulthood due to familial obligations, financial restrictions and indoctrinated habit. My work now is made in direct response to my nomadic existence. It allows me to connect personally with place and environment while providing a platform for social critique.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
As a photographer, I define myself as a quiet observer. Ever since I was a child, I have taken great pleasure in small details that often go unnoticed. I fervently believe that life’s visual intricacies reflect fundamental aspects of personal
identity. My work explores the relationship between humanity and material environments specifically, how environment affects identity and personal development. I love the medium of photography because, while identity is
constantly evolving, this artistic genre has the power to capture who we are in an exact moment, transforming a fleeting impulse into a lasting statement.
Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
The biggest challenge facing artists today is the need to balance making a living with the need to maintain an authentic voice. The demise of public funding, the skyrocketing costs of property and the overbearing presence of the commercial gallery make the lure of resisting commercialized art to daunting, too daunting for many to overcome.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I participate in 2-3 solo and/or group shows in Southern California every year. For more information and exact details, please visit my website to sign up for my newsletter.
- Website: www.carlajayharris.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @carlajayharris