Review – Duane Michals

Brief:- Images in Sequence. What defines a sequence, as opposed to a series, is the connectivity of the images in time or concept. Make sure that you are clear about the difference between a series and sequence. Photographers have used sequences of images in many different ways.

Duane Michals 1932

AndyFig. 1.

Initial Thoughts – Perspective. Series rather than sequence? Both? I’m going to say this is a sequence. A sequence that is comprised of differing perspectives, rather than chronological or motion. The perspective then becomes conceptual, and is an exploration of other. It breaks down what it means to be a person, a question of identity. Are we made up of parts? Is the whole more than the flesh and bone of being human? Am I just physical features and attributes. The first three images would also stand as a tryptich – see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil? or the converse, see evil, hear evil, speak evil.

As you can tell this sequence speaks to me. Out of all of the many series that I saw of Michals’, this was the one that I was drawn towards. Interestingly this sequence is by no means the favoured or famed portraits that Michals made of his friend Andy Warhol. In fact I have struggled to find any information about this series online.

It’s a different concept of photographs as sequence than I have seen so far. Its a concept that I like, the change of perspective tears down, and deconstructs in its own right. It’s this deconstruction that then prompts me to examine the concept of identity, self and other. I find it hard to see the “other”, because of the questions that arise for me in relation to my own personal question/raison d’être “Who am I?”

Michals presents his sequences in differing formats, and although Andy x 4 is presented in a left to right timeline, he uses vertical timelines, and grids of various sizes.

There is so much to explore, discuss and write about Michals, but as I am trying to stick to the brief, I will leave that for when I study photography at degree level. The other concept that I like about Michals photography is his use of hand written text on his photographs, that enhance the story telling that is created by his use of frame by frame sequence.



Figure 1; Michals, D; 1980; Andy x 4 [Gelatin Silver Print]; AT: (accessed on 22/02/2018)

Feature Image; Michals D; 973; Things are Queer [9 Gelatin Silver Prints with hand applied text]; AT: (accessed on 22/02/2018)


Anderson, JF; 2018; Documentary and Portraiture Photography, Case Studies, Duane Michals; Online AT: (accessed on 22/02/2018)

DC Moore Gallery; 2018; Duane Michals Biography; Online AT: (accessed on 22/02/2018)

Woods, K; 2014; Book Review: ABCDuane by Duane Michals; Online AT: (accessed on 22/02/2018)


9 Replies to “Review – Duane Michals”

  1. I quite enjoyed researching on Michals myself and his work took such creative levels once seen with different perspectives. I enjoyed your thoughts on this and the points that you raise are thought-provoking. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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