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No. 33 This Photograph is My Proof

This photograph is my proof. There was that afternoon. When things were still good between us, and she embraced me, and we were so happy. It did happen. She did love me. Look see for yourself! -- Duane Michals

Does anyone remember the first time they saw this photo with the heartbreaking text?

I know I saw it when I was young.

I think I was a teenager or in college.

It was a postcard and I bought it.

Or was it sent to me?

I was at that age when the heartbreak of Love seemed so desperate and dark and romantic.

I couldn’t get enough of it.

I had no idea how awful it could be.

I had no idea how it never really leaves and how much staying power Love can have.

The difference today from then is now I know how it all feels.

The worst and the best.

Happy day after Valentine’s Day.

Duane Michals is an American photographer who creates narratives within a series of images. Blending images with text in a format similar to cinematic sequences, his hallmark process is evinced in a group of 9 photographs titled Things are Queer (1972). “I use photography to help me explain my experience to myself,” he reflected. “I believe in the imagination. What I cannot see is infinitely more important than what I can see.” Born on February 18, 1932 in McKeesport, PA, Michals received his BA from the University of Denver in 1953 before starting to work as a photo journalist. Over the course of his career, he has taken portraits of influential artists such as Andy Warhol, Rene Magritte, and Marcel Duchamp, often marking his prints with poetic writings and observations about his subject. His first solo exhibition was held at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, in 1970, and Michals celebrated 50 years working as a photographer in 2008 with a retrospective at the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography in Greece and the Scavi Scaligeri in Italy. He currently lives and works in New York, NY. The artist's works are included in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, among others.” -- ArtNet

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