Dan Harris (1925-1980) left the United States for shows in Galeria Obelisco in Rome, and Galerie Furstenburg in Paris. He was disappointed with the conservativism of the Monterey Peninsula in the 1950s, and left Carmel after his gaudily painted house was taken by eminent domain for a highway! He never returned.
Zev, more of the Story
".....Once upon a time there was a young man named Dan Harris. A most real person living in a most real country called the United States of America. He was an artist, not a painter only; there was hardly any material he did not use to give shape to the world of his imagination and dreams: pencil, pen, water color, oil on canvas, mosaic and finally--in search for a tangible third dimension, he turned to sculpture as well......
At a certain moment however his world of dreams and imagination did no longer seem to fit into the reality of Dan Harris in America. Asking himself where in this world of his own, much more real to him than the so called reality of his surrounding, had its origin, he remembered his ancestors, the old people they belonged to and the old continent they had come from. That was the moment when Dan Harris disappeared and was reincarnated as Zev, the wolf, which was the Hebrew name of his grandfathers; and off he went to explore Europe. He saw many countries and people, lived for some time in Paris and settled down in Rome.
When contemplating the recent watercolors and small sculptures exhibited in the "Espace" Gallery in Amsterdam, one cannot help adopting his fairy tale.s For Zev is a great story-teller and he carries us away with him into his empire. Strange birds of all kinds live in this world of Zev's, little men and animals, born out of fantasy--and all these creatures spread an infinite charm, full of humor, playfulness, warmth and human understanding. Though full of humor, these works are by no means a joke; though full of fun, they never make fun of the world.
Next to birds there is one subject that returns over and over again in paintings, mosaics, drawings and sculptures and that is the moon. Not only in the form of the oldest satellite of our world; the shape of it fascinates Zev and turns up most unexpectedly in the position of walking legs, female garments, in a constant metamorphosis, just as a tree suddenly takes the shape of the "Menorah" and vice versa.
When describing the work of an artist we cannot avoid using analogies, and to someone who does not know Zev's work I would say: draw a line from Chagall and another one from Paul Klee; where the two shall meet you will find Zev--there is a definite mental kinship with these two great artists.
He draws from dreams and the subconscious, but entirely lacks the cerebral, chilly sterility of most surrealists of our time ; he does not deny nature as a source of inspiration but is as far away from naturalism and even realism as one could imagine; he shapes a world of his own and is as yet by no means an abstract artist--we find the real artists of our time producing works of art because they have to, using means of expression as the only language suitable for what they have to say: Zev is one of them.”
Magda van Emde Boas, Amsterdam