Duane Michals is an American photographer known for his photographic sequences, his captioned images, and for his portraits of celebrities, in particular within the artistic world. However he prefers to present himself in this way: "I am an expressionist and by that I mean I'm not a photographer or a writer or a painter or a tap dancer, but rather someone who expresses himself according to his needs."
He has published numerous books since the seventies, and many more books have been published around his work. Among them: "A Visit with Magritte" (Matrix, 1981 and Steidl, 2011), "Sleep and Dream" (Lustrum Press, 1984), "Eros and Thanatos" (Twin Palms, 1992), "The Adventures of Constantine Cavafy" (Twin Palms, 2007) and "Empty New York" (Enitharmon, 2018).
In 2021, his photobook "The Idiots Delight", published by Editions Bessard, received the "Photo-Text Book Award" at the Rencontres d'Arles festival 2021.
© Portrait by Abe Frajndlich, 2001
The Idiots Delight / Plaisirs Ridicules
This publication is a collection of Duane Michals photographs that "enact" expressions or sayings of the English language, in comical or absurd ways and situations. The text, in both English and French, is "hidden" in a cut-short page at the center of the images, which are all in double-spreads. About midway into the book, a sequence of images appears as...
Presentation by Enitharmon Editions: "From the moment the Pennsylvania-born Duane Michals (born 1932) settled in Manhattan in 1956 the metropolitan environment in which he found himself exerted a powerful spell on his creative imagination. In 1964 he began to document New York City in a tantalisingly unfamiliar guise, virtually empty of inhabitants at...