The Painted Photograph – Duane Michals

“Modified… with a bullet”. A phrase used not to describe any malice in Duane Michals’s oil paint alterations, but to reflect the degree of subtlety in his vibrant intrusions. The Printed Photograph was published to mark a New York exhibition of Michals’s disrupted tintypes. Adorned with all manner of painted stripes, zig-zags, chequers and motifs, Michals turns the act of collage on its head, striking discord between his action and that of the original photographer. As critic Max Kozloff points out, the intrusions are often ambiguous, and either “harshly juxtaposed or stridently engaged” with the original Victorian-era images. Michals has long been concerned with the limitations of photography and in 1987 he stated that his act of painting onto photographs was born out of discontent and described it as an attempt “to express what you do not see”. Fortunately, for us at least, he is still trying to resolve these same frustrations.

£17 / 56pp / Mar 2013

ISBN: 9780984806379

Reviewed by James D. Clark
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