Duane Michals (/ˈmaɪkəls/; born February 18, 1932) is an American photographer. Michals's work makes innovative use of photo-sequences, often incorporating text to examine emotion and philosophy.
Michals's interest in art "began at age 14 while attending watercolor university classes at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh." In 1953 he received a B.A. from the University of Denver. After two years in the Army, in 1956 he went on to study at the Parsons School of Design with a plan to become a graphic designer; however, he did not complete his studies.
He describes his photographic skills as "completely self-taught." In 1958 while on a holiday in the USSR he discovered an interest in photography. The photographs he made during this trip became his first exhibition held in 1963 at the Underground Gallery in New York City.
For a number of years, Michals was a commercial photographer, working for Esquire and Mademoiselle, and he covered the filming of The Great Gatsby for Vogue (1974). He did not have a studio. Instead, he took portraits of people in their environment, which was a contrast to the method of other photographers at the time, such as Avedon and Irving Penn.
Michals was hired by the government of Mexico to photograph the 1968 Summer Olympics. In 1970 his works were shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The portraits he took between 1958 and 1988 would later become the basis of his book, Album...
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