art:. Wade Harrison, Hodgepodge Coffeehouse, Atlanta, Georgia

Do you think, if a kaleidiscope bursts, that only colors would spew out?

I think not, given that this Georgian painter is revealing a diaspora of emotions by coalescing fragments of color.

This is Wade Harrison, creating bits of distortion with a broad brush stroke.    

smdlr: How did you get into expressionism?

Wade Harrison: I’ve drawn since I was a kid. I’m 46 yeas old now and I’ve done it professionally for about 10 to 15 years. I have a full time job, but I’ve always been an artist. I’m drawn to expressionism, it allows the most flexibility from that art movement. When it comes to brushstrokes I’m really loose, yet heavy. I don’t blend as much and I like to let the highlights stand on their own.

s: I love your choice of colors! Its what popped out to me first, before I could even discern the images. What inspires such richness?

w: A lot of music inspires my work; obscure jazz, hip-hop, rock and classical.. Being that I’m almost in my 50’s, a lot of stuff from the 70’s, and the different aspects of 80’s hip hop too. Music is a real big influence on my art. Lots of those people that I listen too aren’t in the mainstream or apart of the norm; they are who I like and the art hits a nerve for certain people. I’m glad it hit a nerve for you.

s: Oh, it hit a nerve and is still hitting some nerves. There is just so much life expressed here and I can feel it. This is what is great about art, it can touch someone, somewhere anywhere.

w: That’s why you don’t do art for other people, you do it for yourself.  If they see you’re passionate about what you do, they’ll follow along. When I was younger- in high school and in college- I’d copied other peoples work, as in  their styles you know, work of world known artists and other black artists. But, I realized that I had my own expression. If people see your passion about what you do, they’ll follow along.

s: To that extent, Hodgepodge has followed along and is exhibiting your work. Can you share how that happened?

w: I have a full time job for Coca Cola. And, I would pass by Hodgepodge on my way home, but I hadn’t stopped in. Its a fairly new shop,  so one day I went in to just see what they were doing. It had a good feel to it with the open exposed brick and all.  It was just a cool place; it had artwork up and looked art friendly. I talked to the owner about doing a show and was put into the next slot opening.

s: That’s awesome. So, how do you feel about the value of a place like Hodgepodge for an artist like yourself?

w: Coffee shops have always been a part of the art movement. I’m originally from Toledo, Ohio. In my hometown, my friends and I would hang out at the coffee shop : my science fiction friends, pop art friends, low brow art friends, comic book friends and I’d just sketch jazz and reggae people, it was a good vibe and place to hang out then.  The coffee shop is also a good backdrop for inspiration, to show your work too. My wife is my biggest inspiration; she’s pushed and helped me to get into shows from Ohio to Michigan and New York.  You know, for me, having my work in the coffee shop is about affecting emotions, that’s what matters to me.

For more of Mr. Harrison’s work visit here.  

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