Harmony Korine, Strawb Circle, 2015, oil on canvas, 84 × 102 inches (213.4 × 259.1 cm) © Harmony Korine. Photo by Rob McKeever.
Korine’s cult films of the past twenty years—from the surreal Gummo (1997) to Spring Breakers (2012), a contemporary film noir in which four college freshwomen are drawn into a murderous labyrinth of events—merge reality with fiction and hand-held camerawork with precise montage. This heady mix of the unplanned, the seductive, and the outlandish crystallizes in his lesser known, highly tactile paintings. Eschewing brush and professional paint in favor of Squeegees, leftover household paint, and masking tape, he creates loosely sequential images that echo the sonic and visual leitmotifs of his films. The accumulative hypnotic effect of his paintings is offset by lifelike randomness and impulsive energy.
Korine’s films include Kids (1995, written by Korine, directed by Larry Clark); Gummo (1997, written and directed by Korine); Julien Donkey-Boy (1999, written and directed by Korine); Ken Park (2002, written by Korine, directed by Larry Clark and Ed Lachman); Mister Lonely (2007, written by Korine, co-directed with Avi Korine); Trash Humpers (2009, written and directed by Korine); and Spring Breakers (2012, written and directed by Korine).
Harmony Korine was born in 1973 in Bolinas, California. His work has been shown in major exhibitions worldwide, including “Double Trouble: The Patchett Collection,” Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, California (1999, traveled to Instituto Cultural Cabañas and Museo de las Artes Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico; and Auditorio de Galicia, Santiago de Compostela, Spain); “Screen Memories—Imitation of Life, Contemporary Art Center,” Art Tower Mito, Japan (2002); “Beautiful Losers: Contemporary Art and Street Culture,” Contemporary Arts Center, Ohio (2004, traveled to Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; Orange County Museum of Art, California; The Contemporary, Baltimore; University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa; La Triennale di Milano, Italy; Le Tripostal, France; Muzeum Sztuki, Poland; and La Casa Encendida, Madrid, through 2009); “To Illustrate and Multiply: An Open Book,” Museum of Contemporary Art Pacific Design Center, West Hollywood (2008); “SONIC YOUTH etc. : SENSATIONAL FIX,” Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Germany (2009); and “Altars of Madness,” Casino Luxembourg - Forum d’art contemporain, Luxembourg (2013). Recent solo shows of his films, photographs, and paintings include S.M.A.K., Ghent (2000); “Pigxote,” Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, Nashville (2009); and “Shadows and Loops,” Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville (2016–17); and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2017).
Korine’s first novel, A Crack Up at the Race Riots, was published by Mainstreet/Doubleday in 1998. Pass the Bitch Chicken: Christopher Wool & Harmony Korine, a book of collaborative images, was released by Holzwarth Publications in 2002. Korine’s work was included in the 2000 Whitney Biennial and the 50th Biennale di Venezia in 2003.
Korine currently lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee and Miami, Florida.