PDN Photo of the Day

Duane Michals: Empty New York

New York City-based photographer Duane Michals “always finds new ways to understand the human experience through his idiosyncratic combination of philosophy, humor, history, and stark emotion,” says DC Moore Gallery, which is currently showing Michal’s work from New York City in the mid-60’s through May 31, 2014. “Duane Michals: Empty New York,” includes thirty expertly printed, rare gelatin silver prints. Though many are small, around 5″x7″, the prints draw you in.

Michals began his career in the late 1950s as an editorial photographer, shooting for Esquire, Vogue, and Mademoiselle. His first solo show opened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1970, and he’s since had seven solo shows and published more than 20 books. Michals will be honored with a career retrospective in October 2014 at The Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh.

Michals has influenced many photographers, including Tim Soter, who may be Michal’s biggest fan. Soter carries this inspirational quote from Michals in his wallet:

Do it. You have two choices in life–doing and bullsh*t. I hate photographers who talk about photographs but never take any. And the only way you’re ever going to grow… two things, one you have to take risks, you have to be able to let go of all your preconceived notions of what photography should be, and open yourself to the possibilities. Otherwise you’re going to be spinning your wheels the rest of your life. —Duane Michals

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  1. Beautiful images by one of the great photographers of our time.
    But do we really need to be presented images from 1964?
    Are you telling us that there are no present day photographers doing this level of quality work.
    Seriously PDN do a little more net surfing and learn who’s shooting what.
    And maybe stop featuring the same 10 photographers that you do every year.

  2. The real genius in Michals work in the narrative element he always incorporates into his images. Yes other photographers can match and easily surpass his technical ability but few can tell stories using a few, carefully chosen frames. This not something’ Michals does once, but time and time again.

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