Harris Diamant: Head Maker

When did you first know you were an artist?

Favorite medium(s) you use to make art…
Brass, aluminum, steel, gold/metal leaf. I purchase more supplies from hardware stores than from art material stores.

What are the most interesting new trends in your field? Is your work changing as a result?
About a dozen years ago, before I was familiar with the term, a reviewer of a show that I had in San Francisco, dubbed me a Steampunk Artist. At that time, I had been working in that manner for more than a decade. Sort of proto-Steampunk. Who knew?

Talk about your creative process – where/when do you get most of your ideas and how do you know a piece is ‘finished’?
The work produces the work. I watch my fingers and they direct me. My subject is always a head. By repeating my subject, I hope to reveal an internal secret that’s cloaked in mystery… especially from myself. When a head nears completion, I photograph it extensively. This level of removal allows my critical sense to kick in and editing ensues.

Do you also teach or are you strictly a creative artist?
I’m totally maker, not at all teacher. I’ve always favored Alain Robbe-Grillet, the French film maker and writer’s quote, “the hallucinatory effect derives from extraordinary clarity and not from mystery or mist. There is nothing more fantastic ultimately than precision.”

What are you working on now?
Yet another head. Like each that I’ve made, it’s an advance over the last.

How has being in Kingston enhanced/inspired your work? What do you like best about living in Kingston/being involved with MAD? How long have you been here?
I’ve lived in Kingston for just two years. I’m a native of New York City and lived in the City for my entire life prior to moving to Kingston. I love it here, it’s much like coming home to a place I’ve never been. I accept that this change has had real effects on my work but since my motivation comes from inside rather than outside the specifics of that change elude me.

Harris Diamant
50 Abeel Street #7
Kingston, NY 12401

Hours of Operation: Always working

212 627 3964

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