Hello, my name is Basil Harrison. I'd love your help in attending my summer residency at The New York Academy of Art.
I have been studying at the Beaux-Arts Academy (BAA) in Provo, Utah, for the last four years. This has gifted me with a sturdy and treasured foundation to jump off of as I continue my artistic training. The methodology and philosophy of the BAA is classically oriented, with intent and use of the figure and the creation of art generally taught and practiced through this lens. I’m hoping my experience in the NYAA residency will expand my viewpoint by exposure to methods and philosophies contemporary artists use in their work. I wish to be enlightened to how the figure is used in contemporary art and be exposed to high-performing contemporary figurative artists.
A big goal of mine is to draw and paint the figure, convincingly and beautifully, from imagination. Time at the NYAA would further this goal in every practical way. I’m particularly excited about the guided museum excursions. There is no replacement for being in the presence of the real artwork, and adding the MET to my list of pilgrimages would nurture my soul.
My career goals are to become an allegorical figurative artist, sell through galleries, and be commissioned for portraits, landscapes, or figurative work. I would love to paint on a large scale, maybe even fresco, and have my work to be reminiscent of the 19th and 18th centuries. I would love to someday teach and pass on the knowledge and technique I’ve discovered and mustered.
Getting as many approaches, insights, techniques, and conceptualizations of the figure I can is an absolute priority. Unfortunately, an explicitly contemporary approach is a viewpoint I haven’t had diligent academic guidance in yet. My hope is the time at the NYAA would help close this gap.
In my portfolio, I’m particularly proud of the acanthus sculpture. This, along with the Belvedere Torso cast drawing, were my two major projects of last year. I put my heart into these. I learned so much from taking time and investing in the forms of each. The instructor of BAA, Joseph Brickey, an international award-winning sculptor, is keeping this sculpture as a standard of excellence for his school. I was blown away when he told me this. I’m immensely honored. These pieces are in a mode I would like to synthesize with classical oil painting, to have a style reminiscent of the Rider-Waite Tarot deck designed by Pamela Coleman-Smith.