“When you look at my photographs you are looking into my mind.”

My Favourite Photographer: Duane Michals

Largely self-taught, his work is noted for its innovation and artistry. Michals’ style often features photo-sequences and the incorporation of text to examine emotion and philosophy, resulting in a unique body of work.

I first discovered his work whilst studying for an A-Level in Photography at Hastings College of Arts & Technology. His art comes photography, poetry and sometimes paint and feels like you’re studying snapshots of the history of his life.

“The more serious you are, the sillier you have to be,” he says. “I have a great capacity for foolishness. It’s essential. Without it you’re just another pretty face!”

His refusal to comply with traditional photography methods makes looking at his photography more of a story than a single image. Sandwiching negatives, blurring, double exposing images, using long exposures and whatever manipulation he needs to express his mind.

With age Michals has become more intimate and small things have taken on more meaning, like looking into the heart of a flower from his garden and collecting natural forms. “There is a great deal of pleasure in that,” he says, “and I see things more personally. For example, there is a sliver of light that I track. It leaves my living room in October and returns in the middle of January. I feel like an Egyptian looking at that wall.”

Duane Michals
Duane Michals


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