British artist Philip Harris does not consider his work to be photographic and considers the undercurrent of his images to hold more power than its surface. Harris specialises in oil on canvas figurative painting and portraiture. Despite the intricate technical approach to his work, his creations are highly expressive and have been known to be startling and confrontational.
In 1993, Harris won the National Portrait Gallery's BP Portrait Award with Two Figures Lying in a Shallow Stream. The painting is widely considered to be the most powerful and influential painting in the history of the competition.
His work often disconnects his characters from their surrounding landscape, thus moving away from photography which would not allow such a thing. His subjects are often caught in motion between one expression and another, evoking the sense that they are trying to express their reaction to the viewer's presence.
Philip Harris has explained: "It is my intention that the viewer can relate to the work as though it were entirely real. If the viewer trusts the image they are more exposed to its influence. Often it is what is felt, rather than what it seems that is the dominate force."
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