Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Duane Michals: Heart of the Question

In The New York Times we found this link to Lens, an article about Duane Michals, a sort of forward to his  exhibition: “Duane Michals: Open Book” will be on view through Nov. 9 at Osmos Address, 50 East First Street in Manhattan. The article is written by By DAVID GONZALEZ. Read the full article here this is the beginning

The philosophical “Questions Without Answers” is among the many books published by Duane Michals. But the title could just as easily apply to his relationship with his steelworker father, who invariably offered the same curt reply to young Sonny, as he was known growing up in McKeesport, Pa.

“My father drank and smoked a lot, and if I asked him a question, he would always say, ‘Go look it up,’ ” Mr. Michals, 81, recalled last week. “I got used to going to dictionaries and books. I loved pirate stories, where I imagined myself as Bruce, the cabin boy. I always loved to read.”

That love of the written word is a hallmark of Mr. Michals’s oeuvre, which has been published in some 30 books and exhibited in hundreds of shows. Famed for his dreamy, wry and philosophical narrative series, which feature hand-written, provocative thoughts, he has gone beyond the image itself in his quest to engage eye and mind with heart and soul. Art, he says, should be vulnerable.

Fittingly, a current show of his work at New York’s Osmos Address, “Duane Michals: Open Book,” lets viewers examine how he put together some of his best-known work. Entire drawers are filled with scraps of paper — from hotel note pads to subscription cards — on which he jotted down thoughts when they occurred to him. Others show how he wrote — and edited — some of the passages for “Questions Without Answers” and other books. They also show the breadth of his work, from Op-Ed illustrations to fashion spreads for Anne Klein or Yves Saint Laurent……..MORE

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