Library Exhibit Features Photos Taken ‘Under Stress’

“WINGS From Above” by Harrison Hurwitz

A new exhibition called “Harrison Hurwitz: Photographer, Working” featuring a theme of photos made under stressful conditions will open on Jan. 8 at the Appaloosa Library, 7377 E. Silverstone Drive, Scottsdale.

The exhibition runs through Feb. 28.

“I believe the common theme would be ‘portraits done under stress,’” said Hurwitz. “To get the ballet photo, I had to climb and move onto flimsy scaffolding. For my photos of famous people, all of them told me I had five or 10 minutes to do it. … I have always loved being challenged, and I have done much of my best work that way.”

Hurwitz spent 10 years shooting high fashion and celebrities in New York City. His perspective provides a unique understanding and respect for the human condition. Among his influences are fashion photographers Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Paolo Roversi and Herb Ritts, as well as street photographer Weegee, painter Rufino Tamayo, cubist Pablo Picasso and, more recently, guerilla street artist Banksy.

Posing a challenge to Hurwitz’s art was a battle with rheumatoid arthritis in his 30s. He had to downsize his equipment because the weight was too painful for his joints. For a time, he only worked with a single light, creating highly directional illumination with strong shadows. Because studio time is expensive, Hurwitz had to work quickly during breaks to capture his images.

The Appaloosa Library is open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1–5 p.m. Sunday.

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