Purple Magazine
— S/S 2015 issue 23

Harmony Korine

purple_select 3 Fleectardo, 2014, House paint , acrylic, oil, and collage on canvas

back to painting

photography by HARMONY KORINE in his nashville studio
interview by OLIVIER ZAHM


OLIVIER ZAHM — When did you start painting and drawing?
HARMONY KORINE — When I was a teenager. There was a car wash by my house that I used to work at, and sometimes people would pay me to draw murals inside their trunks or detail the insides of their rims with model paint. I once painted a neon dragon inside Roy Orbison’s trunk.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Can you describe your studio space in Nashville?
HARMONY KORINE — It’s called the Voorhees Building. It has a nice barbed-wire fence around it. I work in a place that was a practice stage for a local blind ballet company in the ’70s. It’s next to a swinger’s club and football stadium.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Filmmaking, besides the script, is a collaborative effort. Do you paint alone?
HARMONY KORINE — I mostly paint alone, and I have an assistant who also helps with stuff in the studio.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Do your paintings have anything in common with your film work, or are there two separate inspirations?
HARMONY KORINE — They come from the same place, mostly based on energy and feeling.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Why has painting become such a major part of your life now, after 20 years of making movies?
HARMONY KORINE — I had several shows at Andrea Rosen and Patrick Painter galleries in the ’90s and then stopped showing till now. I can’t really explain it. It’s something that built up over the last few years.
purple_select 9 Creol Teen Revloutions, 2014, House paint, oil and collage on canvas Creol Teen Revloutions, 2014, House paint, oil and collage on canvas
OLIVIER ZAHM — Do you approach a blank canvas with a predetermined, premeditated idea, or is it a spontaneous and intuitive impulse of color and form?
HARMONY KORINE — Everything is different. It’s mostly intuitive. I had a friend who used to pray to a Sprite bottle — sometimes it’s like that.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Where do these geometric patterns come from? Are they like camouflage that hides something else behind it?
HARMONY KORINE — Yes, these line paintings are based and looped, like a trance or an obsessive teenager doodling on the back of a notebook, trying to find some magic pattern, a stoner pattern, melted and finding forms, connecting dots. They have a connection to the more figurative works, like a shadow world.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Your human figures are pretty scary. They look like ghosts or funny demons. Do they express something about society today?
HARMONY KORINE — No, they’re mostly just internal visions.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Why do you work on huge formats?

OLIVIER ZAHM — How do you know when a painting is finished?
HARMONY KORINE — I’m still figuring that out. I’ve never really felt certain in the way things begin or end. It mostly exists in its own time and logic. More like a vision.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Do the street and counterculture influence your painting work?
HARMONY KORINE — It’s hard to say. I remember as a kid I had a next-door neighbor who set his own house on fire because he was so happy. I think about that a lot when I’m working.
purple_select 6 Scubby Line, 2014, House paint, oil and collage on canvas
OLIVIER ZAHM — How has street culture in America changed in the past few years?
HARMONY KORINE — The streets are always watching.

OLIVIER ZAHM — Would you say that your paintings are influenced by graffiti?
HARMONY KORINE — I never was so into graffiti. Although, I had an older girlfriend in high school who had a tattoo that said “born too loose” above her pelvis. That was the best. She’s now the mayor of a tiny town in Puerto Rico.

OLIVIER ZAHM — It’s really an improbable story to go from no gallery to the biggest gallery in the world. Can you tell us about showing with Larry Gagosian?
HARMONY KORINE — He saw the paintings and proposed showing the work — I had things saved up from the last 20 years. It’s been great.

OLIVIER ZAHM — When and where is your next show?
HARMONY KORINE — Los Angeles Gagosian in January will be next.

[Table of contents]

S/S 2015 issue 23

Table of contents

purple EDITO

purple NEWS






purple BEAUTY

purple LOVE

purple TRAVEL

purple SEX


purple TRAVEL

purple NIGHT

purple STORY


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