The Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University continues its TopSpin Series of exhibitions of emerging regional artists with "Robert Harris: Painting in Progress," which opens with a reception from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24, on the Niagara University campus.
The exhibition continues through April 24.
Harris is perhaps the most well-known unknown artist in the Western New York region. Through his online presence, the artist declares to be "everywhere and nowhere - a life in progress." A complex artist with both a humble nature and a glint in his eye suggests internal aspirations of resilient artistic rebellion. These dueling qualities beg the question: "Is this the truth ... the whole truth ... so help you?"
Through his social-media presence, Harris (aka Baron Robert von Ticklebomb) updates his followers with posts such as: "painting in progress thirty-six percent finished," "painting in progress eighty-seven percent," or "painting in progress based on sketches from an old and tattered moleskin." These pontifications allude to his off-base and infectious individuality. And for good measure, viewers can find a raunchy pink tongue jutting out - in defiance of the establishment.
Harris's works are painted with intentional flatness, purposefully devoid of slick-refinement and bound with sturdy black contour lines. His paintings, on occasion, pay homage to historical figures, religious deities and fictional characters. The body of work featured in "Painting in Progress" candidly documents and celebrates the relationship Harris has, or had, with individuals portrayed.