On Tuesday February 3rd I woke up to snow outside my window, the once bare branches of the trees that line my North London road, covered in a delicate layer of white. Though picturesque, and massively grin-inducing to the LA girl in me — “OMG SNOW!” — all I wanted to do really was bury myself beneath the duvet and emerge in Spring.
Nonetheless, as the new saying goes, ArtAttack must go on, so I bundled up like the pro layerer that I am, drank the hottest almond milk capp possible, and headed out into the winter wonderland. Naturally, by this time the snow had melted, but I felt frozen nonetheless and as I trudged through Marylebone on my way to Imitate Modern I hoped with each blink to open my eyes to sunlight.
To my thrill and surprise, it happened. Escaping the cold and jumping into the gallery, I was greeted by an outpour of bright colours all around me. Thanks to Raymond Salvatore Harmon‘s ‘ACID,’ I suddenly felt in the blissful throes of summer. Standing in the gallery, in which Harmon not only has paintings on display but has actually painted the gallery itself,
I was hit with a massive energy boost. The artist says it best, “Within my work colour is a radical action, a spiritual experience that is a vibrant living expression of life.” And that’s what it was, I felt unabashedly alive in this world of colour Harmon has created.
Known for his street art, in which he paints on full scale buildings, it’s great to see Harmon creating as lush an environment inside and within what is for him, a small space. The formerly white walls of the gallery are now vibrant and loud, wood panels of various shapes and sizes on the once flat walls give dimension and character. Even the stairway leading to the loos is touched by Harmon, cheeky splatters of paint marking the pathway down.
In the back corner, a cosy sofa, chairs and magazine stacked coffee table, invite the viewer to have a seat and relax within the art. Harmon’s framed paintings therefore feel like art in a home as opposed to product in a gallery. These paintings, like the gallery walls, are also woven with bold colour and texture.
Staring at one of these 3D paintings, I wondered what Harmon’s process is and quickly found out it consists of him painting an original, and then cutting it up into tiny pieces. He then layers these pieces to create the dimension of the final painting. Harmon believes that this initial destruction of his own work is part of what makes his art beautiful.
All I know is the whole experience turned my grey day upside-down. Sometimes a good splash of colour is all you need.
– India Irving
Raymond Salvatore Harmon’s ‘ACID’ is on view at Imitate Modern until 21st February 2015; 27A Devonshire Street, London W1G 6PN; Open Monday-Saturday 10AM-6PM (Saturday 5PM); Admission: FREE