Scottsdale Public Art

Temporary Art

Harrison Hurwitz: Photographer, Working

What does a professional photographer have to do to get the gorgeous photos we all take for granted in advertising, publishing, and print work? Harrison Hurwitz is a quick thinker—with adaptability, agility, cunning, and charm—and works to take the perfect PR headshot, “candid” pictures for magazines, or a photo story for a ballet company. Hours of planning are needed for a five-minute shoot with the successful, busy, and famous. With each image in the exhibition, Hurwitz gives us his behind-the-scenes thoughts from the moment.

“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 was first a psychologist and then spent 10 years in New York City shooting high fashion and celebrities. His insightful 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.

For more of Hurwitz’s work, visit

Hours: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1–5 p.m. Sunday.

Scottsdale Public Art, a branch of Scottsdale Arts, operates the Gallery @ Appaloosa Library for the city of Scottsdale. For information call 480-874-4645.

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