Today the Venice Paparazzi spotlight shines on artist Gus Harper!
How many years in Venice?
I have lived in Venice for two years, but I’ve had a studio adjacent to Venice for 20 years now, so Venice has been my stomping grounds for a long time
Give us a brief bio of yourself:
I grew up in Santa Monica and I’ve been a full-time artist for over 22 years. It’s a dream come true and I have recently become extra inspired by my travels around the world and my adventures with murals and my new sculptural installations.
Tell us about your art. Describe your style, and what influences it?
I’ve often describe my work as a celebration of the collective human experience. Usually vibrantly colored and large scale, my works are intended to have a spirit of wonder and a touch of optimism.
How many years, and how did you get into it?
I sold my first painting for $100 when I was 17 years old. It was a great inspiration. And now I’ve been a full-time artist for 22 years.
Biggest accomplishment or favorite show?
My biggest accomplishment is reaching the point where I can spend every day simply working on making myself a better artist. As far as my favorite show… Probably the one At TAG Gallery that was curated by my mother Fielden Harper who is also an artist and one of my heroes.
What projects are you currently working on?
I’m always working on new series of paintings. And at the moment I am particularly fired up by my wood cutout sculptures. I’ve been installing them all over the country and recently even on the shoreline of Venice Beach.
Anything else that you want to share with our readers? Announcements, upcoming events, etc.
I particularly enjoyed the art I made over the last two years and I will be sharing them at upcoming open house parties at my studio at the Santa Monica Airport in February and March.
A few personal questions.
That is going to be different for everybody. But for me, I find happiness in being able to spend every day working on improving my work at my dream job.
What is the best advice you have received?
The best advice I have is… Take advice. (Of course a filter is needed)
Artistically…. Only paint from your heart.
How are you surviving Covid-19 and the lockdowns? What moves or pivots have you made?
My day-to-day activities were not particularly curtailed. But I did not have the big annual show that I normally have. A strong online presence and frequent studio visit by friends and collectors has helped me thrive. And the art itself is keeping me buoyant
Finish off the statement “Art is…
Favorite book, band or movie?
It’s impossible for me to filter these… But I can speak to my recent indulgings…Finally started reading Murakami. Always listening to Lee scratch Perry, last night watched “American Woman.”
List 1-2 things on your “post covid” bucket list?
Return to Nepal. Travel to the republic of Georgia and exhibit there.
Creativity through havoc.
What do you do for fun in Venice during Covid times?
I’ve walked and rode my beach cruiser up and down every street in Venice. Especially late at night when nobody else is out
What is your craziest or fondest Venice experience?
There’s not really a singular experience that stands out. Rather, it’s just a general sense of vibrancy. That might best be captured by a Sunday late afternoon stroll down to the boardwalk and the skate park. Watching all the creative people do their thing.
Who should Venice Paparazzi cast the spotlight on next?