“Harim” is the French spelling of the Arabic word on the sign posted outside a Middle Eastern potentate’s seraglio, the rooms where his wives and concubines reside. In Arabic, it means “forbidden”. It’s English form is “harem”.
It is not solely a Middle Eastern or Islamic institution. Polygamy and the keeping of concubines has abounded throughout history in diverse cultures. It persists and thrives even today in various forms around the world. Artists have been fascinated with the harem for centuries. In the West, Rembrandt, Delacroix, Ingres, Picasso and Matisse have all made their contribution to the genre. Oriental art and art from the Indian subcontinent are replete with paintings, sculptures and drawings of this recurring subject.
It has been said that I paint my models as though they were my lovers. In some very real sense they are. I do, indeed, fall in love with each of my models. At least a little bit. This project was inspired by one of my models, Jennifer Jurado, but each of them has been, in their own unique way, a delightful inspiration. It is a warm tribute to each of them and their collective and indicvidual influence. Something in each of them sparks something in me that transcends the purely physical. The physical aesthetic becomes a window on some greater aesthetic spiritual meaning.
In any event, this, then, is my “Harim”…