Acclaimed master of digital art opens up new frontier with spectacular interactive exhibition on Bond Street

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Acclaimed master of digital art opens up new frontier with spectacular interactive exhibition on Bond Street
Dominic Harris and Chess Block 2, first artist to successfully fuse a classical art and design background with boundary-breaking technology skills.

LONDON.- The hugely anticipated Imagine, the inaugural exhibition of contemporary artist Dominic Harris, opened to the public at Halcyon’s flagship gallery in Mayfair on 7 November and runs until the end of 2019.

Harris is the first artist to successfully fuse a classical art and design background with boundary-breaking technology skills, to become the leading light of art’s newest frontier, creating the next generation of master works. He is at the forefront of a genre-defining community of artists who are pushing the envelope of possibility within the digital art medium and redefining the relationship between technology, art and human interaction.

As technology occupies our lives in more intimate ways, Harris captures the sometimes menacing march of the information age, turning it to our advantage in a seamless blending of nature and code.

From butterflies in Flutter; and flowers in Bloom; to snow angels in an evolved edition of Ice Angel, the artwork that drew acclaim and audiences in equal measure when it was exhibited at the V&A in 2012, Harris’ inspiration enables him to construct highly personal interpretations of the natural phenomena which surround us.

Harris offers a surreal and whimsical take on reality, which ultimately challenges our own perceptions of the world about us. His responses, aesthetic yet playful, conceal a carefully-observed commentary on the digitisation of our daily experiences, which plays both upon our emotions, and our relationship with the technology-fuelled 21st century Pop Culture.

The exhibition, to which admission is free, is staged to have universal appeal and is family friendly. The show displays a collection of interactive screens that move and react to the viewer’s movements and touch. A bespoke commission conjured by Harris will also be projected onto Halcyon Gallery’s five-story grand façade, forming the largest digital art projection by Harris in the UK to date, creating a transformational experience for New Bond Street’s millions of visitors.

Ice Angel epitomises Harris’ unique ability to capture the individual human imprint and interaction with technology through an art medium. It blends youthful playfulness with modern digital manipulations to create snow angels, making the viewer assume the role of both performer and portrait subject. As the user moves their arms a new wing shape appears, unfurling from the shoulders, moving and displacing virtual snow. The wings are created dynamically and are linked to the participant. The artwork has a ‘memory’, capturing a hidden view of the participant and their angel wings, and this specific angel identity remains linked to that participant in any future encounters with the artwork.

Artist Dominic Harris said: “Imagine is my inaugural exhibition with Halcyon Gallery. The installations are a physical amplification of my fascination with role of the audience and their interactions with movement, colour and light. For me, the art is in the delight that manifests when the viewer interacts with each piece. The screen, the data and the coding become one mirror we can look through to find a space of imagination and creativity.”

A great British success story, Harris’ patronage includes some of the world’s biggest and most respected international art collectors including giants of Silicon Valley and iconic innovators of software, technology and design as well as works displayed in public spaces.

Like Warhol, Harris’ inspiration and social commentary also draws on the iconic imagery – in this case animation – that has defined and dominated post-war culture and entertainment. He is the only digital artist to be awarded access by The Walt Disney Company to its extensive back catalogue and permission to utilise it in his artworks. The exhibition includes two Disney-related works: Mickey and Minnie, created in 2018 to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the iconic characters: which explores the characters’ ever-evolving love story, and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, an eight-piece work where audiences can interact with each dwarf’s signature personality traits.

President of Halcyon Gallery Paul Green said: “Dominic Harris is breaking boundaries in the field of digital and interactive art. We’ve been following his work for a number of years and are very proud to launch him as a new artist at Halcyon Gallery and also present his largest standalone exhibition to date.”

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