MAURICE HARRIS AT ROCKEFELLER CENTER
- Date: September 07 - November 20, 2021
- Location: Rockefeller Center
- Partner: Tishman Spyer
- Artists: Maurice Harris
ROCKEFELLER CENTER & ART PRODUCTION FUND PRESENT ART IN FOCUS PUBLIC ART INSTALLATION BY FLORAL ARTIST PHOTOGRAPHER AND FOUNDER OF THE STUDIO BLOOM & PLUME, MAURICE HARRIS
ON VIEW FROM SEPTEMBER 7
HARRIS’ FLORAL ASSEMBLAGES AND PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHY WILL BE INSTALLED IN MULTIPLE LOCATIONS THROUGHOUT THE CAMPUS
@BLOOMANDPLUME / @ARTPRODUCTIONFUND / @ROCKEFELLERCENTER
NEW YORK, NY - Rockefeller Center and Art Production Fund will continue their Art in Focus partnership this fall with a site-specific public art presentation by Los Angeles-based floral artist, photographer and founder of Bloom & Plume, Maurice Harris. Presented in multiple public locations throughout the Rockefeller Center campus, Harris’ installation will be on view from September 7, 2021.
Well known for his floral artistry, Harris expanded his practice to include portrait photography. The series of photographs installed at Rockefeller Center are primarily from his ‘“Shades of Blackness Vol. 2 #untouched #nofilter #naturalopulence” and “Shades of Blackness Vol. 3 Don’t Touch My Hair"’ series. As Harris explains both series are “investigations into how we, as people of color, find our beauty and agency. Born from my deep desire to learn to love myself for who I am (which is not easy when you are a big black gay man that doesn’t fit into society in any conventional way) I went on a journey to find myself in other people.”
The images Harris presents as vinyl murals (located at 10 Rockefeller Plaza, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, 50 Rockefeller Plaza and the street and concourse levels of 45 Rockefeller Plaza, as well as outside on Rockefeller Plaza) feature a series of portraits of family members and community cast by Harris for their natural beauty, and set against gold backgrounds surrounded by floral compositions assembled by hand and without the use of photoshop, making sure the human touch is present. Harris includes empty floral frames inviting viewers to imagine themselves in the work as well.
The site-specific mixed-media installations in the vitrine spaces (located in the lobby of 45 Rockefeller Plaza) feature Maurice’s niece, Elyse, who he considers his muse. Almost as if peering into a different realm, the full size portraits of Elyse are set among lush foliage and as Harris describes they “have a fairy tale like quality, reframed within the black experience. Capturing her like this literally puts her on a pedestal where she can be celebrated and places her in a different world, one where the violence so frequently inflicted on WOC doesn't exist.”
“In a world that does not protect black people, I wanted to place my people on a pedestal and show black excellence and black joy. I continue to find the beauty in myself by seeking the humanity in others. I love my people and I love having a platform to share my point of view. Thank you for spending time with my work, it really means a lot to me to feel seen and received.” MAURICE HARRIS
“Maurice Harris is one of the most sought after and successful artists today, and we are happy to provide a canvas for him to make his art more accessible to all those who come to Rockefeller Center. So many people know and love Maurice for his floral designs and TV persona; we are excited to introduce New Yorkers to some of his other work with the largest public exhibition of his photographs to date.” EB KELLY, Tishman Speyer Managing Director overseeing Rockefeller Center
“Set among the floral installations that he so adeptly composes, Harris beautifully captures his portrait subjects with grace, celebrating each individual. It is an honor to present work by such an accomplished creative and to share it with the audience at Rockefeller Center” - CASEY FREMONT, Executive Director, Art Production Fund
MAURICE HARRIS is a Los Angeles based artist best known as the visionary behind Bloom & Plume, a bespoke floral studio located in Echo Park. A creative spirit born in Stockton, California, Harris escaped to Los Angeles to attend Otis College of Art and Design where he studied sculpture and new media as well as fashion. He began his career at the intersection of fashion and art under the legendary windowdresser Simon Doonan at Barneys, and went on to conceive wildly imaginative displays for Juicy Couture at its peak. Looking for a new creative outlet where he could express himself, Harris rediscovered his love of flowers - a craft he learned from his grandmother in his youth. What began first as a casual endeavor making bouquets and arrangements for friends and colleagues quickly blossomed, leading Harris to expand his hobby to include residential and business deliveries as well as special event design. In 2010, he made Bloom & Plume official.
Since then, Harris’ unique point of view, wicked sense of humor and expert craftsmanship have made him one of the most sought after floral designers in Los Angeles and one of the most followed florists on Instagram (@bloomandplume/ 260K followers) around the world. Harris’ clients include some of the boldest names in Hollywood from John Legend to Beyonce as well as luxury brands from the fashion and art world including Louis Vuitton, The Row, Goop, Opening Ceremony, Dior, Nike, Gucci, Valentino, Cartier, Warby Parker, MOCA LACMA and The Broad amongst others. Harris has been featured in Vogue, W Magazine, LA Times, NY Times, Kinfolk, Hollywood Reporter, and Architectural Digest. In 2019, Harris continued to expand his empire, opening Bloom & Plume Coffee with his brother Moses, adjacent to his floral studio. In 2020, he completed production on his own show “Centerpiece” now available on Roku as well as his role as floral judge on HBO Max’s “Full Bloom” now in its second season.
ART IN FOCUS is a multidisciplinary program established in 2018. The public art initiative showcases site-specific installations by artists inspired by contemporary life and set within the landmark New York City landscape at Rockefeller Center. Artists featured in the series will have their work displayed in a number of prominent and unexpected public locations throughout the Rockefeller Center campus. Art in Focus is presented in partnership with Art Production Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to commissioning and producing ambitious public art projects, reaching new audiences, and expanding awareness through contemporary art. Past Art in Focus artists include Joana Avillez (Rockefeller Center Holiday Map, December 2018), Hein Koh (Braving the Cold, January-April 2019), Portia Munson (Pink Projects, April-July 2019), LaKela Brown (July-September 2019), Lucy Sparrow (Lucy’s Delicatessen on 6th, September-November 2019), Angelica Hicks (Rockefeller Center Holiday Map, December 2019), Vanessa German (The Holiest Wilderness if Freedom, January-April 2020), Ryan Flores (Low Lifes: An Upside Down Love Letter, June-September 2020), Genevieve Gaignard (September-November, 2020), Oliver Jeffers (Rockefeller Center Holiday Map, December 2020); Hiba Schahbaz (In My Heart, January-May 2021), Sanford Biggers (May-July 2021) and Hilary Pecis (July- September 2021).