Working in color film and on a large scale, photographer Michael Eastman has spent five decades documenting interiors and facades in cities around the world, including Rome, Venice, Naples, Paris, Lisbon, Havana, Buenos Aires, New Orleans, Memphis and East Saint Louis. He is recognized for his formal exploration of historical architecture and his painterly interest in the texture of decay. People remain an abstract concern in his work: “I am more interested in finding places to photograph that are full of evidence of human activity but without the specific people that inhabit the places. These photographs are portraits of the people without the people in it. Through inference, we tend to “create” the portrait from what is in the room and from our own personal experiences. I feel successful when my interiors feel like someone has just left the space or is about to enter. Almost like a stage set.”
Eastman studied at the University of Wisconsin and although interested in Edward Weston’s and Ansel Adams’ work, he is self-taught as a photographer. He has received a number of awards including a National Endowment for the Arts Grant. His work is widely published in the press and four monographs. It is also broadly shown and collected including by the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NY), Museum of Fine Arts Boston, International Center of Photography (NY), Art Institute of Chicago, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and The George Eastman Photographic Collection (Rochester) among others.