Dedicated to covering the visual arts community in Connecticut.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Harvee Riggs, R.I.P.

Sad, sad news.

I was going through some of my back emails from last month and opened one from February 11 with the subject "Harvee News." I was stunned and saddened to read from Harvee Riggs' wife Diane that he died suddenly of a heart attack on January 31.

I first met Harvee about five years ago at an opening reception for works he was showing at the Art Shack in Cheshire and later interviewed him during City-Wide Open Studios in 2006. Harvee made wonderful box assemblages, dynamic compositions comprised of antique objects he scavenged at flea markets. His works were filled with humor, a sense of nostalgia, reverence for the past and a love of art. As his wife Diane noted in her announcement of Harvee's death, he had just put a book together about his work aptly titled I think, therefore I art! The book is available through Blurb.

I spoke with Harvee during the 2006 City-Wide Open Studios. That post can be read here. Harvee told me, "I like to use objects that have character and been around to show it. Shiny things are just glitter. Rusted? Broken? Doesn't matter. Scratched? All the better."
And if the components he wants to use don't display the toll of time and wear, Riggs is willing to work them over until they do. "Schoolhouse Chair" is built with a child's chair and a pair of mannequin arms.

"They were brand new when I bought them. But that doesn't work with my sensibility," said Riggs. So he scuffed them and stained them until they could pass as antiques. The work is a comment on lost innocence and possibility. The child within the seat has ideas about the world, dreams. But the adult, represented by the mannequin arms is shackled to the world of work and limitations. Like the rest of Riggs' displayed works, it was marked by a powerful sense of composition and balance.
I mourn the loss of a sweet, creative individual.

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Blogger illstudio said...

Goodbye, Harv. You encouraged me to break out on my own in the middle 80s and I did with much success. You made a mundane job tolerable (at Treasure Chest Advertising in Windsor Locks, CT)
You will never be forgotten...

6:01 PM

Blogger Beverly Kaye said...

I am devastated to hear this sad and shocking news.
Such a sweet man, such an unbelievable talent. His works reached the child in us all, and never failed to bring a smile. I shall miss him and his art, and send my belated sympathies to his bereaved family. What a loss to us all.

3:17 PM

Blogger Studio38 Wedding Photography said...

Harvee - I will miss you and everything you brought to the world through your art, music and just being yourself

6:07 AM


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