Photographer, Harrison Huse relies on engagement with the Chicago photography community for inspiration; the restrictions brought upon by the pandemic have shifted his creative process. Esthetic Lens caught up with him recently to learn more about his experience.
1.How are you holding up?
Well, I’m trying to do the best I can, given the circumstances. It’s been hard on me physically and mentally, to tell the truth. I’ve been out of a job since March 2020, desperately trying to get one, but I haven’t had any luck thus far. I’ve been lucky enough to have Torrance and my friends by my side through it all, per usual. I’m trying to stay optimistic things will get better, but the growing cynicism and apathy has definitely been combating what little hope I’m trying to grasp onto.
2. Has Covid-19 had an effect on your work? If so, in what way?
Oh, absolutely, the effect that COVID has had on my work has been truly staggering to me as an artist. Being cut off from my community, aside from occasionally being on Instagram, has really dropped my creative output to barely any at all. I work best from in-person experiences and being able to directly communicate with people. It’s why I loved being part of Latitude Chicago. I could really get to know the people and start a real dialogue about our work and it would, in turn, get me excited about the craft and really get me to want to do and try new things. Not being able to go out and experience the things that I did, that really helped shape my body of work, has hurt tremendously.
3. What are some of the unexpected creative things or projects that have developed for you while navigating the current state of the world?
On the flip side of my lack of creative output, I have started submitting my work to more things. I figure if I don’t have the energy or creativity right now I should at least submit to as many things as I can. Making it to “The 2020 Lenscratch Top 25 To Watch”, getting to talk about my work more with interviews, being invited to participate in a zine with a partner, being included in an amazing book, Primal Sight, filled with 145 other incredible artists curated by Efrem Zelony-Mindell, which also got my piece featured in Vogue Italia. It’s been incredibly humbling and surreal to me that so many people enjoy my work.
4. Who do you wish were still with us to provide pointed commentary on what we are collectively experiencing and why?
I can’t really think of someone who isn’t currently with us that I would want to hear their commentary on what we’re collectively experiencing. I want people who are currently around to actually comment and take action on the state of this country and our world.
5. What artists, performers, writers, have you come across recently that have created poignant work about where we are at right now?
- The album Home Body by Dope Body
- Postcards from the Pandemic
- Everyone on social media that is capturing our reality right now
6. What are you looking forward to?
Harrison Huse is a queer lens-based artist established in Chicago, Illinois. His body of work surrounds LGBTQ+ identity through portraiture. Most recently, he’s been exploring the theme of isolation through abstract and experimental photographic methods using digital ink transfers onto various materials. Harrison holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Photography at Columbia College Chicago. His work has been featured at Filter Space in Chicago and The Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.
Harrison’s work in the book Primal Sight, curated by Efrem Zelony-Mindell is part of a collection of works by 146 artists, with essays by David Campany and Gregory Eddi Jones. It surveys the current state of contemporary black-and-white photography.