Pictured at top: Shana and Robert ParkeHarrison, Associate Professor of Art in Photography,
with Arnold Newman’s photograph Stravinsky.
Pictured at bottom: Newman’s photograph with two other works owned by ParkeHarrison - Ascension Island, Simon Norfolk, chromogenic print,
and Many Tribulations of None, Elena Lourenco, iron, enamel, and rust.
The Stravinsky portrait is one of Newman’s most popular images, and he didn’t print many of them initially, but he would make prints on demand. It’s not particularly valuable, because there’s no limit to the edition, but that doesn’t matter to me. It’s a great image to have in the house. Living with it puts my mind in the right place - makes me think about Stravinsky’s work, imagine his avant-garde compositions. I can take inspiration from seeing this image on a daily basis.
I think Shana and I are drawn to art that influences us, or captures an element of what we wish we could do but can’t, in our own work, because it just doesn’t fall into our trajectory. Because sometimes you come up with so many ideas - you have to say to yourself, ‘Oh, I could do this body of work, but that’s someone else’s idea. I gotta stay on track here.’
I do think very deeply about art and the spiritual connection. I don’t go to church but when I go to a museum, a really great museum, to me it can feel like the spiritual awakening that I need. I don’t need to find it in church. So I do think it’s a grounding, a very personal connection. Art collecting can offer that connection too. Even though you may forget that a piece of art is on your wall from day to day, still you have it, this fragment or talisman of the artist, or the artist’s philosophy. It’s someone’s vision.