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Michael Childers Biography
Born in North Carolina, Childers attended the UCLA Film School where he directed student films and began his photography career by studying with Robert Heineken and Edmund Teske. Childers created the mixed media work for the record-breaking run of the hit off-Broadway musical “Oh! Calcutta!” for Kenneth Tynan. It was Tynan who subsequently invited Michael to work for Sir Laurence Olivier’s National Theater in London. He remains the only American photographer invited to photograph productions at the National Theater. He went on to become a founding photographer for Andy Warhol’s Interview and After Dark magazines. For Dance magazine, he produced many covers including those featuring the Joffrey Ballet, The Royal Ballet, and the Alvin Ailey Dance Company as well as co-authored a book Bejart: The World of Dance.
In 2003, Palm Springs Desert Museum presented a forty year retrospective of Michael’s work titled Icons and Legends. The three-month show was visited by over 55,000 people, one of the largest audiences ever recorded by the museum. Michael received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Hollywood Photography at the Temecula Film Festival in September of 2004, and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Hollywood Photography from the Provincetown Film Festival that same year. At the Los Angeles Film Festival in June 2006, La Dolce Vita, the photography of Michael Childers, was presented. Also in 2006 the Palm Springs Art Museum presented Celebration of Three Hollywood Photographers: George Hurrell, Sid Avery, and Michael Childers. And in October 2006, the Tom of Finland Foundation inducted Michael into their Hall of Fame for his erotic photography. In 2013 he has received Crystal Lens Award from Palm Springs Modernism Week and the Distinguished Photographer Award from the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair and recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Palm Springs International Film Festival
An exhibit at the Queen Mary Gallery in Long Beach, in the summer of 2007, titled: “Rockin’ Hollywood” – portraits of Rock-N-Roll icons and music legends was viewed by over 30,000 people
Michael was awarded a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Fame in March of 2008, which was presented by Lily Tomlin, for his work in photography, movies, and humanitarian causes. Once again on March 6, 2014, Lily Tomlin presented Michael with “Humanitarian of the Year” from Jewish Family Service of the desert for his fundraising efforts for this organization.
His work is in the National Portrait Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, and the British Film Institute Library in London, Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, Palm Springs Art Museum, University of California, Riverside, Photography Museum, Las Vegas Art Museum, Laguna Art Museum, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Marion Center for the Photographic Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in Beverly Hills, the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts, the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, the Robert Mondavi Winery Museum, Scripps College Museum of Art and Photography, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the Santa Monica Museum of Art. He is also a sought after lecturer on photography. He also served as producer or associate producer on Marathon Man, Falcon and the Snowman, and The Believers- Michael also worked as a Production Assistant in 1975 on “The Day of The Locust”
Michael is also a sought after lecturer on photography by many colleges, performing art centers and cruise ships with his various lectures/shows—including “Icons & Legends”, “Art & Fame” -working with the famous artists and architects of our time, “Author Author”- a collection of one hundred of the most celebrated authors (which has toured throughout the United States. In February 2014, Michael was a featured speaker at The Rancho Mirage Writers Festival in Rancho Mirage, CA.
In 2011 the David Hockney – Andy Warhol exhibition showed at the Talisman Gallery in Bergamot Station. In October 2011, the Carmel Film Festival, Famous Faces on Film. His Distortions show was at the Michael Lord Gallery, February 9-March 12, 2012. Backyard Oasis, part of the Getty Museum’s Pacific Standard Time, was at he Palm Springs Art Museum January-May 2012. His photograph, the Hockney Swimmer, is the cover of the Backyard Oasis book and was featured in various international publications, including Time Magazine, The London Telegraph, Vanity Fair and Vogue. In March 2014, Michael had a show entitled “Fusions” – color field landscape photography--at The Melissa Morgan Fine Art Gallery in Palm Desert CA.
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