David Harper is well-known for his work as British BBC TV antiques expert. From Bargain Hunt to Cash in the Attic, fans of Harper’s will now be able to experience his work as an artist for the first time in an upcoming solo show at Daniel Raphael Gallery.
This will be a fantastic opportunity to view works inspired by Harper’s career as a television personality and face of many television antiques shows. Appearing on British televisions for the first time in 2005 as presenter of Channel 4’s Natural Born Dealers, Harper’s work is greatly influenced by time spent filming on location as well as from his passion for classical motor cars. Harper’s explorations prove that the world of antiques dealing can be an inspiration to create bold, emotional work.
With his father based in Zimbabwe, Harper grew up between Africa and the UK, a childhood that greatly influenced his explorations in colour and form, blending traditional African shapes and pigments with abstract observations of people passing by in the street. Harper used to dream of becoming a painter, recreating his dreams on canvas and capturing fleeting moments in paint. His piece, People Watching expresses this perfectly, depicting blurred, half-formed faces of half-forgotten reveries, facial features jumbled and indistinct as in a memory.
His work, Roman Sculpture in a Smoky Room, tells the tale of a 2000-year-old Roman sculpture that Harper was offered but did not purchase, and the regret surrounding that decision; a poignant reminder that life is full of missed opportunities.
Harper’s World will be Harper’s first solo show in London, displaying a collection of powerfully vibrant works that have been described as being reminiscent of the Modernist colour period. From television personality to artist, Harper proves that passions can be combined to create energetic art.
Colour and vibrancy play a large role in Harper’s art, bringing a sense of vitality to a world often seen as stuffy and dull. Speaking of the upcoming exhibition, Harper says:
“Painting is a huge passion for me and I lose myself in my studio; surrounded by pots of bright colours, Victorian dinner plates for mixing paint and tons of wild ideas. My pictures often depict items I’ve studied, and I have always been drawn to vivid and vibrant colours. For my first solo show in London, I’m thrilled to be working with Daniel Raphael Gallery, exhibiting a series of exciting unseen works.”
Harper’s World is at Daniel Raphael Gallery, 26 Church Street, London NW8 8EP
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