I am not concerned with fashioning something New… rather I am obsessed with retrieving what is lost. I walk in the land… sometimes I make images. I use the images in installations, objects, and paintings. Eventually everything is discarded … but nothing is lost.
Michael Berman’s work is firmly rooted in both the contemporary and the classical tradition. His classically executed black and white photographs participate in and extend the romantic tradition of western landscape photography. He avoids the spectacular, however, in favor or small and unnoticed scenes or vast empty views. The photographs reveal both the complexity and abstraction of nature, while his installations seek to find a place for man within it.
Michael Berman has photographed El Gran Desierto, from the Pinacate in Sonora north across the border through the Cabeza Prieta to the Gila River, on a fellowship from the Southwest Center at the University of Arizona. This borderland desert is one of the last great big empties of the Continent. This work has resulted in two publications, Inferno, photographs by Michael Berman, text by Charles Bowden, and Sunshot: Peril and Wonder in the Gran Desierto, with text by Bill Broyles.
His work has been exhibited throughout the United States and is included in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, Fort Worth, Texas, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, New Mexico. He has received fellowships from both the Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico, and the Arizona Commission of the Arts.
Michael was born in New York City, studied biology at Colorado College where he began his love and wanderings through the desert southwest. He received his MFA in photography at Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.