Artist statement

My goals as an artist have changed over time and I expect that they will continue to evolve as my interests change or I find material I want to experiment with. What does stay consistent is my love for genre fiction, particularly fantasy, horror, and sci-fi. I'm drawn to using these genre motifs in my work for their usage in speculative narrative and ability to create metaphor through fantastic and abstract settings. As I am now, I'd say I'm in my horror phase as the genre has captured my attention, it's highly emotional and packed with the potential for visceral symbolism. Horror is not just about cheap scares but an examination of intense emotions, I'm particularly drawn to works that couple fear with fascination and desire as is often seen in the gothic sub-genre.

My primary modes of artistic exploration are paintings and comics. I enjoy making multiple paintings on a similar theme and seeing where I can branch out with a subject, interrelated works creating a family tree. My current family of paintings is my ongoing "Fruiting Bodies" series where I depict body horror, combining human, plant, and fungal forms. Meanwhile, comic making allows me to explore themes I'm interested in through a planned story. In my 2021 thesis project Rust and Mold I crafted a narrative told through visuals and text about isolation with a non-human character coming to terms with emotions they're unfamiliar with. A consistent thread through both these modes of working is being intentional with color palettes. I like the challenge of working with a limited set of colors and creating questions during the process of making like: How do I convey blood without red? Without a true shade of green how should I paint a leaf?

A current goal I have for my art is to confront sexuality more. While I've never been shy about depicting sapphic desire in my art, I've kept it chaste and palatable, which I've never been exactly satisfied with. To say ineloquently: I want to start getting weirder with it.

About the artist

Harper Crane is an artist from the Pacific Northwest, who graduated from Portland State University with a BFA in art practices in 2021. They work primarily with acrylic, ink, digital, and watercolor media. Harper is interested in exploring narrative in art through short comics, zines, and other sequential projects which they self-publish online. They enjoy using macabre iconography and botanical symbolism throughout their work. Beyond comics, paintings, and illustrations Harper writes creatively as a hobby and makes glass and metal-based jewelry.