Of this satirical look at contemporary photography, Duane Michals has said, "The more serious you are, the sillier you have to be. I have a great capacity for foolishness. It's essential." Whether parodying Wolfgang Tillmans or Andres Serrano, Sherrie Levine ("A Duane Michals Photograph of a Sherrie Levine Photograph of a Walker Evans Photograph") or Cindy Sherman ("Who is Sydney Sherman?"), Michals uses his ferocious wit and keen eye to create images at once humorous and penetrating. As "The New York Times" described "Gursky's Gherkin," the work "explores as never before the sense of picklehood, or what it means to be a pickle." The "Times" also testified that "this high-humored sendup of arty photography should be required viewing for all art-world heavies, particularly critics, curators and collectors." Michals takes aim at pretensions that are often perceived as deliberately obscuring contemporary art, and in doing so he exemplifies his mastery of both the visual world and the written word, while providing the elemental pleasure of a good laugh.
"At 75, he pretty much calls it like it is... Here are several of Michals' comments:
"I've always relied on the kindness of ideas"
"Everything you think makes sense doesn't. Get out of the fuckin' box."
"My gift to you is that I'm not you"
"As long as you believe in consensus reality, you will never experience true reality"
"What a cheap joint, I have to do my own slides" .... and .... "Jesus, what do I have to do to get fucked around here"
"You are the alpha, the omega. You are the event"
"You affect what you see through the participation of your observations"
"Have you ever thought about the not-nowness of now?"
"I love to photograph what cannot be seen"
"Reality is not a set of observable facts walking down the street."
"Photography is not about looking, its about feeling"
"Can you imagine defining your life so narrowly that Nirvana is sex with 72 virgins"
"Someone just paid $3 million for a Gursky. $2.5 million I can see, but 3?"
"You should always be a beginner"
"I love ideas I've never thought of before"