Harmony Korine, Watermellon Circle, 2015, oil on canvas, 64 × 70 inches (162.6 × 177.8 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 the 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 around the world, including “Double Trouble: The Patchett Collection,” Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, California (1999, traveled to Institute Cultural Cabanas and the Museo De Las Artes, Mexico; and Auditorio de Galicia, Santiago de Compostela, Spain); “Presumed Innocent,” CAPC Musee d’Art Contemporain, France (2000); “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 Museum, Baltimore; The University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, Tampa; Fondazione La Triennale, Milan; Le Tri Postal, France; Muzeum Sztuki, Poland; and La Casa Encendida, Madrid, through 2009); “To Illustrate and Multiply: An Open Book,” MOCA 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 (2013). Recent solo shows of his films, photographs, and paintings include “Photos and video installation,” Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (SMAK), Belgium (2000); and "Harmony Korine—pigxote," Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, Nashville (2009).
Korine’s 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 50th Venice Biennale in 2003.
Korine currently lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee.