Drift: Brian Harvey

3 - 30 October 2021

"My inspiration comes from walking, from unplanned journeys through the landscape, and from getting lost in familiar places and noticing things that are normally hidden from everyday experience.  Random movement through the urban landscape can create a disorienting feeling as new discoveries and connections are made and things can be seen again. These works reflect fragments of that aimless drift through the urban landscape."

 Brian Harvey is most comfortable portraying the ephemeral; he often focuses on specific moments and times of day that feel rare and fleeting. Harvey’s effective surrender to the cityscape, and his acknowledgement that he himself is a part of the city's social reality, gives him the ability to portray these fleeting moments while maintaining the same distance a documentarian would keep from their subjects. Harvey's powerful use of colour is the voice that highlights and aggrandizes even the most mundane details of city life, be it the burgundy colours comprising a grimy streetcar (Logan and Gerrard, 2019), or the cheerful yellow lights that illuminate a seemingly unremarkable alleyway (South of Gerrard, 2019). Harvey's technique lends importance to the forgotten and overlooked parts of the city, endowing them with beauty comparable to some of Toronto's most well-known and iconic landmarks. His art broadcasts to the world the momentary qualities of the modern city, linking him to the rich traditions of the Impressionists and the American Realists, which have so vibrantly and successfully captured modernity in a similar style and subject matter as Harvey does today.