For those of you familiar with New York, you’ve probably seen Harif’s drawings, or bumped into the artist himself. Harif Guzman is a catalyzer for other young creative artists, designers, photographers, actors and singers.
He embraces the vibe of downtown New York and it is clearly reflected in his work. Harif’s New York is a city that truly never sleeps, and is full of sinful late-night denizens. His work is a chaotic, wild, and glamorous hallucination.
It portrays a wide range of subjects from cartoonesque naïve faces, to the dark and serious stares, to the troublemaker models in his big collages. Seduction, sin, and vice are a constant in his work. Beautiful women are powerful in their naked bodies yet weakened by the struggle to attain the ideal aesthetic. He portrays both the ironic and critical with text like “forced to diet” or the repetition of “ADD,ADD,ADD” a disorder treatable with Adderall, the prescription amphetamine popular among models to stay skinny. Harif was born in Venezuela and grew up skateboarding. He traveled all over the U.S., started his own band, then experimented with graffiti under the name Haculla. He has now made a name for himself in the contemporary art world making mixed media canvases, installations, and combining materials such as photographs, wood, paint, fabrics and LEDs. Harif Guzman’s studio is ripe with history. It is rumored that Andy Warhol used that studio as a satellite atelier and that Grace Jones owned a restaurant downstairs!
Fiammetta De Michele