- Tom- Tom
Michael Childers – a celebrity himself – is famed for framing the most famous faces in the arts and cinema for decades. Michael is also known for his nudes. There seems a link between nudes and celebrities in the work of many photographers. This is especially true for Michael who early in his career shot the PR material for Oh Calcutta – the infamous naked musical review that played in New York and London in the early 1970s. Michael has a long history of shooting some of the most interesting actors, artists and models since the late 1960s. A Renaissance man, Michael has also produced films, including some for his late partner, John Schlesinger who won the Academy Award Best Picture for Midnight Cowboy.
Michael’s photo of Ian Falconer in David Hockney’s swimming pool was chosen for the cover of the book of a new show that recently opened at Palm Springs Art Museum – Backyard Oasis – photos of Southern California pools taken between 1945 and 1982.
In his current show at the Michael Lord Gallery in Palm Springs, Michael finds a new approach to creating art with the nude figure. Michael had a large flexible mirror made that could be moved like a scroll creating distortions akin to fun house mirrors. He posed his subjects in front the mirror and shot their reflections as the mirror moved.
The images that result from working this way morph into sculptural forms reminiscent of Henry Moore and various surrealists like Salvador Dali – think melting clocks.
One of my personal favorites describes narcissistic passion in this image of a very handsome young man. Working this way allows the artist to hunt for the “happy accident.” This image is a very fortunate accident and I can imagine Michael’s delight as he saw this image emerge from the process. His equally handsome woman morphed extra heads in this trippy picture. I remember things like this happening to my vision back in the days of windowpane acid.
When I saw this large print reflected in the glass top of the gallery counter top – I couldn’t resist playing Michael’s game with him. As I’ve written before in my blog To Change Or Not To Change? – an artist needs to continuously experiment to keep their work fresh and honest. Michael has demonstrated the value of experiments with surprisingly beautiful results.