About the Artist
Bio & Statement


Born in Brooklyn, New York, I spent my youth in the city, until I left the city to study Architecture at Pennsylvania State University, set in rural Nittany Valley. Living in the countryside, I gained an understanding about the nature of places, cities, and my home city in particular, which fundamentally shaped my thinking about design, history and the nature of nature. I was fortunate while at school to have architect Louis Kahn and landscape architect/environmentalist Ian McHarg as teachers. A high point of my school years was an independent work-study with an architect in Helsinki – a bastion of Modern Design; only to be smitten by the, largely undesigned, indigenous, sustainable villages and archetypal settlements in Finland, Italy, Spain and Greece.

Simultaneously, I was awakened to the infinitely changeable perfection of Nature. Appreciation of the new and the historic equally shaped my understanding of making places, making meanings; the blending of building with culture, geography and technology; the mysteries of Nature's places; a constant reminder of the limits of design. I decided, several years ago after much hesitation, to pick up a camera again. The digital revolution intimidated me at first. My intention was to use the camera to support my pursuit of painting; to aid my understanding of color as a painter rather than as an architect. The act of photographing, again, opened me to the magic power of place and the fleeting mysteries of the moment. The camera is a wonderful tool to heighten perception and awareness – the act of focus. City, street, timeless ruin, sunlit stream, fleeting, momentary shadows and reflections, are all there for me.

Artfully making place is passion and profession. It is an open-ended ceremony that is, with each project, a blending the "tried and true" with the "never done before". My art is devoted to making meaningful experience (objects, places, moments). The process of making is always the same, as it is always unique. The satisfaction, for me, comes in the ways in which the past is honored and preserved, while the new is being born by fearless acts of imagination. Invention and discovery are two sides of the same coin –the building and the city; the city and countryside. The balance I find is in the man-made and the natural; the momentous and the timeless. The glorious in between, EITHER, AND!

Mark Harari
New York, NY
2014

Mark Harari

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