Carla Jay Harris

Carla Jay Harris is a Los Angeles-based artist and writer. Her visual work has been exhibited in numerous galleries including Sonce Alexander, Culver City, CA; Art Share LA; Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY; Bonhams, San Francisco, CA; Gallery H, Los Angles, CA; the Center for Contemporary Art, NJ and CA; as well as the McGuire Woods Gallery, Washington, DC. Her work has been published and/or reviewed in the New York Times, Daily Serving, PDN Magazine and Our Weekly Los Angeles. Carla Jay studied photography and design at the School of Visual Art, Parsons School of Design and the University of Virginia. She earned her M.F.A in Studio Art from UCLA in 2015.


In my work, I document and evaluate psychological environments. I began my career in 2008 as a documentary photographer. Over the past several years, my work has transformed into a conceptual, fine art practice that takes the form of sculptural, print, photographic and mixed-media works. Despite these seemingly disparate forms, the camera remains the connecting thread among all of my undertakings. Each piece begins with the camera and then comes to its final form through a process of meditation, translation, and manipulation.

As the child of a military man, I spent my childhood in flux – moving every 2-3 years for the first half of my life. This pattern of transience continued into adulthood due to familial obligations, financial restrictions, and indoctrinated habit. My work is made in direct response to my nomadic existence. It allows me to connect personally with permanence while providing a platform for social critique.

I am continually attracted to the way psychological space can transgress unwritten social laws through the manipulation of light, color, object & perspective. My most recent bodies of work (Inconspicuous Presence/Conspicuous Absence) evaluate the physiological impact of economic environments. These projects bring into question how much our own identity & self-worth are knowingly, or unknowingly, informed by notions of/mythology regarding race, commerce, & beauty - present & past.