Photographer Duane Michals pushes the boundaries of photography with evocative, erotic and sensual images. I’ve written about Polish poet Anna Świrszczyńska before, she also has a similar aesthetic.
I think photographs should be provocative and not tell you what you already know. It takes no great powers or magic to reproduce somebody’s face in a photograph. The magic is in seeing people in new ways.
I believe in imagination, what I cannot see is infinitely more important than what I can see.
I once photographed a young man who was beautiful, but one of his eyes had been damaged when he was a boy. But it was the poignancy of his flaw that saved him from the banality of perfection and made him exquisite.
The best part of us is not what we see, it’s what we feel. We are what we feel. We are not what we look at …. We’re not our eyeballs, we’re our mind. People believe their eyeballs and they’re totally wrong …. That’s why I consider most photographs extremely boring—just like Muzak, inoffensive, charming, another waterfall, another sunset. This time, colors have been added to protect the innocent. It’s just boring. But that whole arena of one’s experience—grief, loneliness—how do you photograph lust? I mean, how do you deal with these things? This is what you are, not what you see. It’s all sitting up here. I could do all my work sitting in my room. I don’t have to go anywhere.
Time is such a funny thing,
it’s like the hole inside a ring,
It’s always now and never then,
But when I saw it’s now again
It’s never now but always then.
We’re always here but never there,
But when I go from here to there,
When there is here and here is there
Should you think you’re very tall
Next to a tree you’re not at all,
and if you think you’re very small
next to a bee you’re ten feet tall.
When we dream we seem awake
But all along the dream was fake,
To me I’m “I” and never you,
you say you’re “I” and also me,
I know that’s true, How can that be
Since I’m not you, and you’re not me
Time is not what you might think
It is and isn’t in a wink.