Michael Northrup

About Michael Northrup

I grew up in photography during the 70s and fell in love with the flash once I found my legs in the medium. I was heavily influenced by the photo histories and contemporaries I was exposed to while at Ohio University. By the late 70s, as I worked on my MFA at the Chicago Art Institute, I was focused almost entirely on the flash light. Over the years that light was like a stone I just kept rubbing and rubbing. I don’t like repeating myself so I kept changing how I used the light.

Another part to the technique is my love of irony. And that underlies a majority of my images, whether subtle or obvious. I must have been especially influenced by my mother who would laugh at news stories like, “Santa looses fingers while stepping off helicopter to wave at kids”.

During the 50’s my older brother told me all the science fiction and horror movies we were seeing were documentaries. And my dad, being a doctor, surgeon, and coroner, would bring humor to the dinner table on things like bowel obstructions and suicides. My whole family was great at extracting humor out of tragedy and that has given me a way of seeing life. For me creating images is all about my daily life, those meaningful pictures I’m able to extract from it, and the personal photographic vision I bring to those visual narratives .