I am a photographer.
I stand in front of things and hope.
Looking for pictures.
Listening for voices.
This collection of pictures has come about by looking through roughly ten years of mostly overlooked and un-urgent pictures. Pictures untouched by the locust swarm of commerce obligation and timely concerns. Working on these pictures has been like putting my ear to some imagined wall, listening close for voices. Pictures have very small voices. The pictures are a harvest of disparate moments — passing glances and overheard voices. It is a harvest in hopes of piecing together a kind of story from these otherwise unrelated bits, a story that gives voice to that which is beyond suspicion yet so resistant to words… a rope of pajamas and blankets to climb out of a window with.
Resident and luminous.
Luminous and waning.
Many of these pictures are not about what they are of. What I’m hoping for in these pictures is a kind of mirror — make-shift and dull, perhaps, but owning that peculiar property of a mirror in reflecting back accurately that which lies in front of it. In this case, something of that which is resident and luminous in the world, but beyond that, something of the internal, invisible and intangible which drew me to stand still in the first place.
This is probably enough to say for now. I hope so.
Anyway, talking about pictures is like thinking about praying.
Michael Wilson was born in 1959 and is a life-long resident of Cincinnati residing in Price Hill. He developed his interest in photography while attending Northern Kentucky University where he earned a bachelor of fine arts in 1981. At that time he had no plan to be doing photography for a living. In fact, he had no plan at all. He worked as a janitor, a dishwasher, a laborer, a darkroom technician and eventually as a photographer’s assistant. With not much of a clue but little to lose and a wife not afraid, he quit his real job in 1987 to go freelance as a photographer.
His work has been featured in exhibitions at the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Contemporary Arts Center and the Weston Gallery as well as in numerous exhibitions in other local venues. Wilson’s photographs have been exhibited regionally at the J.B. Speed Museum (Louisville, Ky.), 930 Gallery (Louisville, Ky.); Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art (Cleveland, Ohio). His work is represented in the Cincinnati corporate collections of E.W. Scripps; PNC Bank; Frost & Jacobs; Deloitte & Touche; and Duke Energy. He is also represented in the collections of the Cincinnati Art Museum and the J.B. Speed Museum.
His work in the music industry is the most recognizable face of his work. Among the artists that Michael has photographed are: Lyle Lovett, B.B. King, Waylon Jennings, Randy Newman, Emmylou Harris, Bill Frisell, David Byrne, Philip Glass, Dawn Upshaw, and Dr. John and Doc Watson. Clients include Nonesuch Records, Warner Bros. Records, Sony Music, Capitol Records, Alfred A. Knopf, Penguin Putnam, Mother Jones Magazine, Uncut Magazine and Pentagram Design.