I believe the immediate meta-physicality of the environment, the landscape and the living things found there, is very powerful to me. It has become such an inescapable part of my inspiration that I have begun to feel an intimate connection with even the most unimposing but living elements of the world around me, sharing these moments together, as brief as they truly are.
“Art is long and time is fleeting.” — Longfellow
Michael does not see art is an end-product, but a by-product, of an artist’s journey. More than fifty years ago he built his first darkroom using cardboard, tape, and a navy surplus enlarger. From that day on the magical journey of photography — its process and creative potential — became a passion. For thirty of those years, traveling the western states by motorcycle, he became immersed in its visual frontier; literally feeling and breathing the world in which we live. His landscapes of those years revealed a kind of personality, born of an interplay between the idea of “place” and the “things” that are found there. Today, his journey has become more introspective, seeking to capture life in its purest form: uniquely individual and self-aware. This is the third exhibit at the Don Dexter Gallery in Eugene. He has also shown works at the PhotoZone and the NewZone Gallery Downtown, and interviewed on KLCC’s “Viz City” program. He is the Coordinator and Facilitator at the PhotoZone Gallery, active board member at Photography at Oregon, and a participant in the Eugene Grid Project from 2018 to 2020. He is also continuing his current project in a Spring exhibit at the O’Brien Photo Gallery in Eugene. Working exclusively in black and white until the introduction of digital, he has been making photographs off and on since the 1960’s.
What is your favorite thing to do in or around Eugene?
I live across the street from Skinner Butte Park from where a short walk to the butte gives me a nice morning/evening view across the city and the eastern rise toward the Cascades. More importantly is a refreshing early morning walk along the river shared with the canopy of foliage and shrubbery living there.
The Willfulness of Being (Life Aware of Itself)
January 8—March 31, 2022
I don’t talk to my house plants or play for them a Fiscella piano composition. That would presume an aging Philodendron can be reflective as an old man facing his end.
But as I wander through the quiet muse of a redwood grove or observe the blanket of canopy embracing an old bridge, I find myself sharing with them an awareness: That we are each of us a life possessed, one brief moment trailing in the sweep of inˡnite time and space.
These photographs, a work in progress, are about more than a tree or a leaf. They are about seeing ourselves in connection with the world around us. They are portraits; proˡles of community, of family, of souls wrapped in the fleeting grace of being.
And I believe they are aware of that single moment they inhabit, as we, too, should be. And that in each of these images there exists a willfulness of being – a life aware of itself.
Look for it. You’ll see.
Artist Reception: Saturday, January 8, 2022, 1-3 PM