T.S. Harris American, b. 1966

In her paintings, T.S. Harris presents a dazzling aqueous vision that merges the past with the present.

Tracey Sylvester Harris mixes the contemporary and the timeless in her large-scale paintings of female sunbathers, citing the bold, sunny light of Edward Hopper and dazzling flat colors of Richard Diebenkorn in a way that not only draws the viewer in closer, but also challenges the viewer to negotiate their gaze in the context of these female subjects. Tempering a sense of nostalgia with a modern approach to composition, Harris aims to remind the viewer that “our own lives are fleeting” and “[to relish] our time in the sun.” Close enough to entice without titillation yet distant enough to create pause, Harris's women have a distinctly magnetic quality that is both predicated on the physical and the psychological.


Aptly called “Sunshine Noir”, T.S. Harris’ paintings speak to the central issues of human existence- desire and loss, impermanence and beauty, and the many dimensions of our connections with others. Inspired by snapshots and film stills from the mid-century, the paintings are colorful yet bittersweet, depicting fleeting moments captured almost a lifetime ago. Suspended in time, Harris’ stylish and elegant cropped figures put on scarlet lipstick, dream by the pool or sit in contemplation. With the context of their actions removed, the women and figures become mysterious; they are alluring not only for their figures, but for the secrets that they hold.





Raised by two professional artists, Harris’ art career began at an early age. Initially showing in her family’s gallery and then branching out into other venues, her work has since been featured in museums and galleries nationwide, book covers and magazines, and the movie, The Face of Love. Harris lives and works in San Luis Obispo.


The Face of Love
The Face of Love stars Annette Bening, Ed Harris, Robin Williams and a surprising costar -15 paintings by Tracey Sylvester Harris (no relation to the actor). Director Arie Posin uses the paintings to illustrate the transformative power of love after devastating loss. After divorce, artist turned art teacher Tom Young (Ed Harris) meets and falls for a widow (Annette Bening) while teaching a class. The relationship inspires him pick up his brushes again and paint amazing, large format figure paintings, created in real life by California artist Tracey Sylvester Harris.


After receiving the call that her work was chosen for the movie and recovering from the initial shock, T. S. Harris says it made perfect sense to her. “I always pictured my alter ego in the studio as a serious bad ass. Ed Harris is brilliant casting in my mind!” she replied. Tom Denolf, the co-producer whose daunting task it was to find the artwork to match the character of Tom Young (Ed Harris), scoured hundreds of LA galleries in search of work that would meet the script criteria, namely that the paintings be figurative, large, painterly, reminiscent of Eric Fischl, but with a Southern California vibe. Hundreds of galleries, dozens of meetings, and three weeks later, T. S. Harris got the voice mail she still has on her machine, “You're it! We're looking forward to working with you!”