The Art and Photography of Duane Michals

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by Miriam Silverberg

The Art and Photography of Duane Michals

I just came from the Morgan Library and Museum on Madison and 36th and you have got to see what I saw.  It’s a juxtaposition of the art and photography of Duane Michals and treasures from the Morgan’s collection.  I had never heard of Michals but I know about him now.  His work is funny and serious, beautiful, wild and crazy.  You will love it.  I certainly did. 

The exhibition combines a six-decade retrospective of Michals with an artist’s-choice selection of work from the permanent collection.  Michals is known for his picture sequences, inscribed photographs and films that go way beyond the scope of the lone camera image.  The exhibit, on until February 2, actually takes you on a tour of his mind. 

The Art and Photography of Duane Michals

For Michals photography is not documentary in nature, but theatrical and fictive.  And that’s what I loved about his work.  He’s exploiting the medium’s storytelling capacity.  I guarantee you have never seen anything like this and I guarantee that you will love it.  When you first walk in there’s a wild and crazy “parabolic” mirror that you have to see.  It seems a parabolic mirror distorts everything.  Look at it!

Miriam Silverberg is a freelance journalist and owner of Miriam Silverberg Associates, a boutique publicity agency in Manhattan.  She may be reached at

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