Goodbye To One Of The Greats
Charley in his studio
A friend of the Wacksman family, Mr Harper's prints hung in nearly every room in our house. I recall carefully studying his complex woodland scenes and fully entering the picture; as a child there was nothing that would leave me so entranced as a depiction of a densely packed microcosm. I remember well visiting him in his studio and marveling at the chaos of creation.
As one does, I grew older and lost interest in Harper's artwork and dismissed it as nostalgic. Several years ago as my scope of interests grew I uncovered Charley's "Golden Big Book Of Biology" and was nearly knocked off my feet. My appreciation for his artwork was rekindled. Around the same time Charley found a friend in Ur-designer Todd Oldham, who featured his prints in print ads for his La-Z-Boy line. Charley then had a retrospective in Cincinnati and it seemed his star was once again on the rise.
Oldham has since published a book entitled "Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life" which will be available soon.
Mr Harper died Sunday of pneumonia at the age of 84. He is survived by his wife Edie and son Brett, both artists as well. He will be missed, but leaves a lifetime of beautiful artwork behind.