David Harper is a Modernist / Fauvist painter and sculptor
His first public exhibition was in 2014
David Harper’s art has been exhibited and sold alongside work by Damien Hirst,
Ai Weiwei, Sir Peter Blake, Henry Moore, Darren Baker and many more
His works are in private, public and corporate collections around the world, including museums
The Darren Baker Gallery, London
Smart Gallery, Harrogate
The Daniel Raphael Gallery, London
The James Herriot Museum, North Yorkshire
The International Haynes Motor Museum, Somerset
The Horizons Penthouse, Canary Wharf, London
Before David Harper’s first art exhibition in 2014, he was an established and well known art and antiques expert on BBC television and radio
As a youngster he loved creating art in what he would call “His own style” This was exactly that - his creations were far removed from tradition rules and art norms. Bright colours, out of proportion shapes, eccentric and exaggerated
However, his art ambitions were put on hold for a few decades after his school art teacher took a look at one of his ‘Own style’ submitted artworks and remarked in horror “Harper…no one in their right mind paints like you”!
However in 2010, at the age of 43 and at the beginning of what was a difficult personal time, a classic mid life crisis and general state of disillusionment, David began having reoccurring painting dreams. In these vivid dreams, he saw himself as a painter. A working artist, sat at an easel creating free flowing and wild art, mixing colours with abandonment, literally throwing paint around and breaking all the traditionally taught rules of painting. In his dreams, the paintings came naturally, they were easy, free flowing onto the canvas…and he was happy
The dreams continued constantly, without a break and for several months.
Eventually, but still with the nagging memory of his art teachers words ringing in his ears, David hesitantly bought some art materials and began painting.
The hope was to replicate the dreams, but the timing wasn’t right. It didn’t work.
Far from being easy, exhilarating and a freeing experience, painting was difficult and it was in fact impossible to fill the canvas with what he saw in his mind and in his dreams
The painting stopped and so did the dreams. The art materials, paint, brushes and canvas’s were all consigned to the garage
One year later in 2011, the dreams came back, but this time with an intensity of feeling that was overwhelming. With a new attitude, a complete distain for his art teacher’s words “Harper…no one in their right mind paints like you” David began painting once again
It was different. He approached the act of painting with a fresh mind set. Painting much quicker, without over thinking, with energy and with a sense of exhilarating recklessness he created art ‘In his own style’ …and the paintings were exactly as he’d seen them in his dreams!
David created his own an art studio above his antiques business premises in
The whole top floor of his Georgian building was stripped out of furniture and down to its floor boards. It all became a creative art studio
He stepped back from his business and effectively worked part time in it. He continued filming antiques shows for the BBC, but the rest of the time he painted - day and night, prolifically and for two years. Painting sessions could easily last all day from early morning to late into the night
David Harper describes painting as the only time he stops thinking… it’s a form of meditation that clears his mind completely. Meditating without trying to meditate he says. It’s fulfilling and therapeutic there’s no doubt, but it’s also mentally and physically exhausting. Any painter will tell you this, but it is the one thing in his work life, he could never do without
After two years of painting privately, for his own benefit and only showing his work to close friends and family, David met up with an art dealer from Harrogate, who took an interest in his paintings. She asked if she could put an a public exhibition of his work
It was agreed and in 2014 his first exhibition of 30 paintings took place
David Harper describes this experience as the most difficult thing he has ever done in his working career. Presenting live on TV, on radio, or public speaking in front of 100’s of people is nothing in comparison he says. Exhibiting 30 paintings in a public gallery is like baring your soul on the wall to be critiqued by art experts, dealers and collectors. Ot was excruciatingly painful
The exhibition however was a success and David Harper’s work is now recognised internationally
Today, David has found an ideal work balance between his TV, media and public appearance roles and his art career. When the moment takes him, he paints.
He can go months without creating art and then he might paint non stop for months on end. It’s a release for him, a time to step out of reality and into another place. A time to recalibrate, to meditate and re-energise.
David Harper also works with other artists. He enjoys their inspiring company and talents. He makes YouTube videos about the artists themselves, showcasing their work, the environment they work in, their methods, but also a ‘behind the canvas’ look at the real people , the artists personalities and characters. The side of which is rarely seen
As an art dealer, David also buys, sells and collects the artists work he features