I was born in 1946 in New York City, where I still live and work. In the 1970s I created a series of porno-satirical collages which exploited covert homoeroticism in mass market magazine ads, and which were exhibited in the seminal "It's a Gender Show" at Group Material in 1981.

I turned to 35 mm photography in the early '80s, desiring to record the visual delights and peculiarities I encountered in the city and on my travels. I thus produced a multifarious trove of color images which I have used in composing a series of innovative diptychs, first exhibited in 1996 at the National Arts Club.

Concurrently, I was working with male models, posed naked in the rooms, hallways and most notably the kitchen of my rambling Chelsea apartment. The photographs from this black-and-white series have been exhibited extensively as well as published in various media.

My art-making has been influenced principally by two men of the theater, Jerzy Grotowski and Charles Ludlam - strange bedfellows, to be sure.  Grotowski’s theory of Poor Theater and his emphasis on the role of physical impulse in the creative act, and Ludlam’s gay gaze and his embrace of the Ridiculous are the touchstones of my practice.  I found a mentor in the artist Thomas Lanigan Schmidt, and there have been several essential muses, some of whose images grace these pages.

My photography has been exhibited at:  the National Arts Club; the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art; the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design; Sara Lawrence College; the Menschel Photography Gallery at Syracuse University; mdh fine arts and ClampArt (New York).  It has been published in:  Self-Exposure: the Male Nude Self-Portrait; Treasures of Gay Art from the Leslie-Lohman Gay Art Foundation; The James White Review; The Archive: Journal of the Leslie-Lohman Gay Art Foundation and Visual AIDS’ Play Smart AIDS awareness broadside.  My photographs are in the permanent collections of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art and the Libraries of Cornell University.  I have worked as an Assistant Teacher as well as Guest Artist at the International Center of Photography.      

Other art world credits include performing in Scott Burton’s Behavior Tableaux at the Whitney Museum (1972), and appearing as a student protester in Sam Durant’s “Legality is Not Morality” (2004), his drawing of Newsweek’s cover photo, May 6, 1968.


Feel the Light, Barber Bart, New York, 2013
Along for the Ride, Barber Bart, New York, 2006
Impulse, Tom of Finland Clothing, New York, 2000
Diptychs, Emulsion Gallery, New York, 1998
Collages, The Glines, New York, 1977, l976
Collages, TOSOS, New York, 1976

FORBIDDEN: Leslie-Lohman Gay Erotic Photography Show, Prince Street Project Space, 2017
Expanded Visions: Fifty Years of Collecting,
 Leslie/Lohman Gay ArtFoundation, New York, 2009
Summer Show In the Art Garage,
Ball and Socket Arts, Cheshire, CT, 2015
The Sexuality Spectrum,
Hebrew Union College Museum, New York, 2012
The 2010 LGBTQ Great Photo Show, Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation, New York, 2010   
Seldom Seen: Work from the Foundation’s Permanent Collection,

       Leslie/Lohman Gay ArtFoundation, New York, 2009
Treasures of Gay Art, Leslie/lohman Gay Art Foundation, New York, 2009
Recent Acquisitions and Donations, Leslie Lohman Gay Art Foundation, 2009
The Sparky Show, Schroeder Romero/Winkleman Project Space, New York, 2008
The Great Gay Photo Show, Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation, New York, 2008
Winter Salon, mdh fine arts, New York, 2008
Dark Ride, Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation, New York, 2007
Self Exposure, ClampArt, New York, 2005
Neo Erotique, Art@Large, New York, 2004
The Boys of Summer, ClampArt, New York, 2004
The Muses, Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation, New York, 2001
Sight of Construction, LGBT Community Center, New York, 2001
Benefit Show, Art Resources Transfer, New York, 2001, 2000, 1999
A Space for this Passion, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY, 2000
Desire, Robert B. Menschel Photography Gallery, Syracuse University, 1999
Group Show, Barbara Ann Levy Gallery, Cherry Grove, NY, 1999
Photoflexion II: The Masters, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, Milwaukee, 1999
Desire, National Arts Club, New York, 1999
Plus or Minus Thirty, Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, New York, 1999
The Gay Landscape, Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center, New York, 1999
Color, Scott Pfaffman Gallery, New York, 1999
Home is Where the Art Is, National Arts Club, New York, 1996
Gay Photo Annual, Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation, New York, 1993
Group Show, Cork Gallery, Lincoln Center, New York, 1990
AIDS Projection Project, Electric Blanket, New York, 1990
Ushers’ Show, Carnegie Hall, New York, 1989, 1988
It’s a Gender Show, Group Material, New York, 1981

Visual AIDS Web Gallery, 2014, 2011, 2010, 2008, 2006, 2005, 2003, 2002, 1999
Play Smart, Visual AIDS, 2011
“Michael Harwood Wants You on His Kitchen Table”,
       The Archive: Journal of theLeslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation
, Summer, 2009
Treasures of Gay Art from the Leslie/Lohman Gay Art Foundation, Peter Weiermair, ed.,
       All Saints Press, 2006
Art from the HIV Community, 2006 Calendar, GlaxoSmithKline Corporation
Self Exposure: the Male Nude Self-Portrait, Reed Massengill, ed., Universe/Rizzoli, 2005
Elle Décor, “Christopher Tanner”,October, 2002
The James White Review, Winter, 2002; Fall, 1999
Contact Sheet, no. 103, catalog, 1999
Tom of Finland Foundation Erotic Art Gallery, no. 18, 2001, no. 12, 1999
Home is Where the Art Is, catalog, 1996
Thomas Lanigan Schmidt, catalog, Holly Solomon Gallery, 1987
Cover Magazine, 1987
New York Native, 1985
The Advocate, 1977
Mach Magazine, 1977

Visual AIDS Artists’ Materials Grant, 2014, 2006, 2003, 1999, 1998
Art Matters, Photographers’ Emergency Fund, 1995
Private donors

Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
Libraries of Cornell University
Tom of Finland Foundation
Other private collections

Nyorican Poets Café, guest panelist, “RAW Fruit”, 2013
International Center for Photography, Guest Artist, 2012; Assistant Teacher, 1993
Collaborations: Thomas Lanigan Schmidt, Agosto Machado
Art documentation: Christopher Tanner, Thomas Lanigan Schmidt, Timmy Bellavia,

      Sandra Korsak, Hoge/Santiago, Owen Morell, Judy Pfaff

Columbia College, B.A., 1968

from The New York Times June 18, 1999
Holland Cotter on “Desire”, at the National Arts Club:

“The male body is central…in Michael Harwood’s picture of a bodybuilder tiptoeing over a kitchen stove…And [the show] concludes on a witty high note with Mr. Harwood’s “Huck, Lollipops and Pollock Book” in which eye candy of various kinds (including images of sculpture by the artist Thomas Lanigan Schmidt) come together."

from The New York Times August 2, 1996
Holland Cotter on “Home Is Where the Art Is”, at the National Arts Club:

“…and Michael Harwood offers a striking photograph of a nude man stretched out on a kitchen table.”