Hermine Harman – An Interview with Maui’s Own ‘Outsider Artist’

By on August 21, 2019
Hermine Harman

Hermine Harman lives in an extraordinary home on the island paradise of Maui, Hawaii. Her work fills the walls, inside and out, and her artistic sparkle and flair are evident everywhere. When you enter her home, you truly enter another world-one created by this delightfully, outrageous artist.

How did you get your start in art?

In 1968, I married an artist. (In the days before the feminist movement, women often sought out and married who they wanted to become.) My son from that marriage became an artist and poet, like his father. In 1983, at the height of the women’s art movement, I got involved with the Los Angeles Woman’s Building founded by Judy Chicago, hoping to work with and assist women artists. While at the Building, in my four years as President of the Board, I dabbled in different art forms myself.

In 1991, I suffered the greatest tragedy a person can experience: the loss of a child. Shortly after, in hopes of healing, I traveled to the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, and that’s really where my art was born. I knew right away I didn’t want to leave. I went for five days and stayed for four years!

How would you describe your style?

My work is playful, colorful, highly textured, and unique! I do painting, sculpture, and
performance. I love for my art to shine and often use glitter and crystals to add to the sparkle. Betty Ann Brown, Los Angeles based art historian, critic, and curator call my art, “Surreal Feminist Fantasy.”

Hermine HarmanLet’s talk about your costumes

In addition to painting, I love to create and wear outrageous costumes. The costumes came out of my hedonistic Halloween parties and extravagant ensembles I began wearing at Esalen. A lot of the fun is conceiving and designing the various looks. Part of the enjoyment is seeing who and what I become. I get to be a crazy character for a night and enjoy the role-playing.

What are you working on this year?

I continued painting and taking classes after I moved to Maui 25 years ago. Three years ago, I joined Maui’s Enchantress Gallery by Bootzie. After several solo shows there, I was curated into a show in Los Angeles and really enjoyed the experience. That has motivated me to explore exhibiting my work in other cities around the world.

I have continued my education this year by recently completing an intensive course called “Creative Visionary Path, by Art 2 Life” I dedicated about 20-25 hours a week to the program: It was incredibly challenging and I loved it so much so that I am already looking at taking the next one offered! My latest artwork reflects the different techniques and principals taught in the workshop.orkshop.

 

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Hermine Harman – An Interview with Maui’s Own ‘Outsider Artist’