Harley Price (BA Fine Art) is a London based artist.
A product of 1960’s England, his childhood was a Clockwork Orange, Cowboy and Indian world of Captain Scarlet, Action Man, military glory and pop consumerism set against a background of the Cold War, the Vietnam War, Northern Ireland… - the convincing good guy / bad guy, fear breeding control mechanisms and the manipulators of regime—based systemic, corporate, and institutional propaganda deception and lies, backed by military might the use of force; ultimately leading to the here and now: The Military Industrial Complex.
His work is defined by an ethical and moral responsibility to expose acts of oppression and is a direct response to his anger and disgust. His work draws from exploitation, manipulation, the loss and corruption of innocence, pan-historical reference points and his own personal experiences of abuse. "I look at injustice through exploitation, manipulation, socio / political oppression and repression, personal and systematic abuse, human rights violations, abuse of capitalism and systems of control. Through the eyes of the injured I explore the benign and the malignant aspects of innocence and play, the rejection and persecution of the disadvantaged, the valour and sacrifice of the brave, desperation and hope, merging them into one".
He is driven by a sense of purpose, by a sense of identity with subject as well as by his rage and revulsion. His work comes from a dark place and talks about disturbing and sinister things, the forbidden, the unmentionable, the prohibited and the outlawed, the taboo and fetishitic duality of repulsion / attraction. I explore the benign and the malignant aspects of innocence and play, rejection and persecution, courage and sacrifice, desperation and hope and looks at injustice, socio / political oppression and repression, abuse of capitalism and systems of control, systematic and personal abuse, human rights violations. Through my research I come across all manner of cruelty and abuse. These horrors stir something inside me, I feel compelled to create something to manifest my voice of protest and in so doing hopefully will encourage other voices to bear witness and speak out and stand up.”
Modern society puts enormous emphasis on perfection and success. Masculinity is defined in such black and white terms; success, strength, potency, might and prowess are glorified above and all else. We are bombarded constantly by sporting ability and prowess and military power and proficiency, the magnificence of winning, of crushing opposition, the glorification of making money at any cost: personal and corporate greed are held in veneration and are beyond the reach of any moral code. .
There is no emotional definition of masculinity in our society, with little or no allowance for sensitivity or compassion. Aggression, strength and a lack of caring are seen as virtues, whilst emotion and sensitivity is spurned.
Utilising pan-historical references, the use of metaphors, often employing artisan processes, he draws on the intrinsic associated natures and qualities as well as the sexual and fetishistic aspect and of his materials [bone china, wood, lead, leather, felt, rubber, mirror and other processed materials], and combining them with textures and elements of childhood, old and broken toys and miscellaneous bankrupt materials that have been discarded, fallen from grace or lost their commercial status appeal and no longer have value. He draws on their imbued history and deterioration and loss of status, allowing them to articulate and communicate forcefully from within the work. He engages in a physical and mental dialogue both with the concept and materials, stepping between the premeditated and controlled and the unforeseen and instinctive
“I have always found failure and loss far more compelling than success: the devastation of loss and failure, the inability to dominate or even resist, of being an outcast, of not fitting in. Since my early childhood I have always felt as though I did not fit in and identified with the rebel and renegade. My work draws on my own personal experience of abuse and the fear and the impotency one feels when you are the subject in a situation where you have no control, no voice, no dignity