ARTIST: David Harris


As an undergraduate student, David took a job as a photographer and film camera operator for the Black Studies Center. That was mostly portraiture and documentary film. At the same time, he developed an interest in the art and craft of the American Shakers. He left college to photograph Shaker architecture and design and has been using photography ever since then to document what he sees.

Although David retained an interest in texture and light that he gained from the Shaker work, he shifted his attention to much more abstract subjects. For several decades he has been focused on rust and other instances of weathered and distressed material. This focus has found him wandering through construction sites and train yards, although that wanderlust has been dampened by increased security surrounding such sites since 9/11.

In more recent years he has included images drawn from travels to Portugal and Panama, the southwestern US and Maine.

Artist Statement

I have always thought of photography as a matter of documentation. I try to use the camera to find patterns and detail and much of my work is conceived of as series. I have lately begun to present the work as diptychs and triptychs.

Although all photography is ephemeral – that is capturing something in the moment – one of the things I love about the work I have done is that much of my subject matter is buried in buildings or highways never to be seen again. It is that aspect, taking the time to look at things we ordinarily simply walk by and capturing an image before it disappears, that defines photography for me. Most of the images are abstract, but are intended combine a bit of playfulness with mystery.

About Working With arTenzia

“Working with Roberto is truly a treat. His charm is exceeded only by his professionalism. He clearly enjoys the work he does and it shows. It is like embarking on a shared journey as he seeks to capture essential things both about the work and an artist’s personality. The process is obviously rewarding for artists, giving us a chance to stand back from our work even as we are portrayed with it. It is fun to watch as Roberto’s mind and eye work to compose a narrative. He takes his time, listens closely, but also has his own vision and perspective. As anyone who looks at his work will see, the end product is a delight. I feel extremely fortunate to have worked with him and to share that work at arTenzia.”