Abstract art has a unique ability to help us rediscover the beauty of nature by removing the viewers from the world they think they are familiar with. By exploring color, texture, and design outside of recognizable imagery the artist is able to keep his viewers from saying, “That looks just like a photograph,” and then moving on to the next piece.
John Harris, an English artist who is best known for his science-fiction paintings, was hired by NASA’s art program in 1985. Inspired by the satellite photos he saw while working for NASA, he began to work on a series of more abstract paintings exploring man’s relationship to the Earth, which he called The Secret History of the Earth. He says, “the Earth is a slate which is being constantly drawn upon, not just by man, but by time itself.” These paintings are designed to communicate the sense of complex and ancient history Harris felt from the satellite photos of Earth.
John Harris talks about his process and inspiration for this series of paintings: