S. P. Harper

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Eliciting desire. What is it? Who creates it?

Part of eco-centric art, aka neo-materialism, and inspired by her diamantaire (diamond cutter) grandfather, S. P. Harper paints and constructs abstract geometrics using reclaimed materials, synthesizing historical and contemporary styles by mixing the classical tradition of still-life painting with modernism. Through reforming and re-employing materials, the work reduces, reuses and up-cycles. Background recycled patterns disappear behind opaque paint rendering and reappear through transparent washes. Local remodeling construction sites are scoured collecting supplies  for 3D sculpture. Eternal flames emerge in the facets of jewels which reflect and transfix.

Gods of fire have made their appearances in cultures throughout history. They have been chosen to represent painted gems. Using diverse media such as discarded wallpaper, door hinge, music manuscript, franked postage stamp, curtain, newspaper, tablecloth, lath and plaster, what begins as refuse is repurposed by transforming base materials into noble objects. Focusing on the intersection of rummage flotsam and object d’art, showing how materials change from valuable to worthless and back to valuable again, this painting and sculpture explore layers and levels of reality. What begins as a bit of refuse is repurposed to acquire consideration, and therefore desirable.

Three Hundred Karats
Milk crates and wire, 24 x 22 x 22 inches
‘Amaterasu’ Cushion-cut Diamond
Acrylic on bandana, 59 x 59 inches
Five Thousand Karats
Recycled steel, aluminum and door hinges, 24 x 24 x 24 inches
‘Dazhbog’ Fancy Intense Yellow Oval Diamond
Oil, acrylic and diamond dust on canvas tablecloth, 54 x 42 inches
Seven Thousand Karats
Acrylic, watercolor, charcoal, ink, gold & silver leaf on repurposed paper, 20 x 20 x 20 inches

S. P. Harper studied art at American University in Paris, France with Paul Jenkins, University of Southern California Roski School of Fine Art (BFA) and ArtCenter in Pasadena, California. After spending 12 years in New York City, she returned to Los Angeles to teach and practice eco-centric art.

Exhibiting internationally, work is included in Neutra Institute Museum, Autry Southwest Museum, Audubon Center, Museum of Modern Art: Yerevan, Romania, Irvine Fine Arts Center and MOAH, Museum of Art & History. She has exhibited at The Living Room Gallery, W Hotel Hollywood, Brand Library & Art Center, Glendale, California and Ely Center of Contemporary Art, New Haven, Connecticut.

Awards include COCA2020 Finalist: COCA Center for Contemporary Art, Rome, Italy; First Place: Irvine Fine Arts Center 3D Art Exhibition, Irvine, California; “Water Works” Certificate of Achievement  Huntington Beach Art Center, California; “Artavita” Certificate of Excellence; ArtSlant Prize Showcase; “Artvoices Magazine 10th Anniversary Gallery Guide” Featured Artist; Special Recognition Category: Light, Space & Time Art Gallery.

Published in 101 Contemporary Artists: Artvoices Art Books, Circle Quarterly Art Review”Magazine, London, UK, Issue 10: The Undertaking: Full Blede Magazine, Voyage LA/Los Angeles Magazine, “ArtCenter Dot” Magazine and Los Angeles Art Association Book Volume II.

Teaches art at American Jewish University, Alexander Hamilton & Los Angeles High School, Belmont Retirement Community and lectures for LA Guest Artist Series.

In the collection of Mandy & Cliff Einstein, Glorya Kaufman, Gayle Garner Roski, TAM: Torrance Art Museum, Malibu City Hall and South Bay Contemporary Gallery.

United States
Los Angeles
United States
San Francisco
United Kingdom
Poulton Le Fylde
United States
Santa Fe



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