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 Michael Levin  (20/21st century)

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Lived/Active: British Columbia / Canada      Known for: landscape photography

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Biography from Thornwood Gallery:
Michael Levin

Michael Levin was born under the vast prairie sky of Western Canada.  It was when he moved to the city of Vancouver that he became engaged with the potential for landscape photography.  Michael states “Perhaps it was my simple need to better understand my new surroundings – water, water, everywhere – that provoked my deeper interest in the way landscape can shape photographic reality.”  His creative imagination opened up and he began to explore the many hidden treasures of the Pacific Northwest.  Since this time he has widened his range, both geographically and in subject matter.  His curiosity remains for visuals that are obvious yet elusive, as clear and as transforming as water.

To some his work has a very painterly quality, the long exposures reducing the landscape to elemental shapes, so that each image is simple and pure but essential. While many of his photographs feature water and clouds, it is the architectural intrusions into these clean spaces that are most engaging. “Wood posts, concrete barriers, weathered rocks, even the elegant shapes of French topiaries allow me to approach the canvases of my pictures with as much of a draftsman’s pencil as a photographer’s eye”.


Biography from Elliott Louis Gallery:
Michael Levin’s photographs have gained International attention. American fine art magazine FOCUS declared “Michael Levin’s captivating images are soulful and evocative; he is truly one of the rising stars in the world of photography”. He has won numerous prestigious awards including ‘Fine Art Photographer of the Year’ award at both the 2009 and 2007 Prix de la Photographie in Paris, as well as 1st place in the Fine Art and the Professional Fine Art categories at the 2006/07 International Photography Awards in New York.

Using long exposures, Levin pulls his world taut, so that what remains in the landscape feels essential and revealed.  There is a deceiving simplicity in his images, as if these places need only to be found to be realized. Places simple and totemic. It is Levin’s own pure sensibility which arranges this view, which finds these small moments and gives them weight and value and timelessness.

Levin is particularly smart at capturing the smooth skin of light, the way it rolls over a place in the course of minutes rendering his subjects in their own private beauty. He illuminates these common places with new intent, making his images both transfixing and transformative.


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