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Duane Michals – The Portraitist

Hosted by the Consul of the Helsinki Museums and Exhibitions Group
Event Cover Photo
Took place 2 months ago
Sat 11 Mar 15:00 - 17:00

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Duane Michals – The Portraitist presents the first comprehensive overview of portraits by Duane Michals, a pioneering photographer who in the Protected content broke away from established traditions of documentary photography. He is well known for staging photographs that tell stories like a progression of film stills, as well as for adding handwritten captions, messages, and poems on the photographic prints. His work has been described as performative, narrative, and illusionistic. More than a ‘photographer’, Michals enjoys being called a storyteller. 

Michals learned photography by himself after taking pictures on a trip to Russia in Protected content . He started his professional career in fashion and commercial art in mid-century New York, extending into portraiture and video art. He has created commissioned portraits of many famous actors, writers, musicians, and visual artists from Andy Warhol to Meryl Streep, Protected content which are included in this exhibition. 

Michals relishes the challenge of distinguishing each person he photographs with a unique approach. He uses natural light and often shoots outside, working on the images with techniques such as multiple exposures, reflections, uncommon vantage points, hand painting, and collage. Dreamlike and uncanny, his images tend to offer more questions than answers. “A great photo,” he says, “should never show you reality; it should contradict it.”

Hope to see you there, and maybe prolong with a drink after the exhibit! :-)