Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Artist profile: Duane Michals

Duane Michals is an American photographer who I spotted hanging next to Andy Warhol in the museum of modern art in Stockholm. Amazingly Michals came from the same small town in Pennsylvania as Warhol and was born just four years later! I was actually surprised to find out how old Michals is (79). I found his work so modern, or maybe I was brainwashed into thinking his work was newer than it actually was because I was at the museum of modern art. According to my wikipedia research modern art ranges roughly between the 1860s to the 1970s. I thought modern art was more modern, as in now. I wonder what the art period we are in presently is called? Anyways, there is something I found very appealing about Duane Michals.  

Michals studied for a year at New Yorks's Parsons school of designs with plans to become a graphic designer. By chance he discovered he was a talented photographer while on holiday in Russia. His vacation photos became his first exhibition. He never had any formal training as a photographer, had never had his own studio, and has never used strobe lighting. Yet he has ended up shooting for Vouge, The New York Times, publishing over 20 books of his work and having several solo exhibitions. Check out his work. He is cool.

Click on the images for their sources.

My favourite piece from Michals I saw in Stockholm was not actually a photo at all. It was simply a hand written text. I managed to find a copy of it. Imagine a handwritten note of black cursive writing on white paper.

"It is no accident that you are reading this. I am making black marks on white paper. These marks are my thoughts, and although I do not know who you are reading this now, in some way the lines of our lives have intersected... For the length of these few sentences, we meet here. It is no accident that you are reading this. This moment has been waiting for you, I have been waiting for you. Remember me."

-Duane Michals

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