Michael Lavine Photography


Michael Lavine is a portrait photographer living in NYC. He was born in California in 1963 and grew up in Denver, Colorado. He started making photographs at an early age and in high school worked as the yearbook photographer. For College he moved to Washington State and attended Evergreen State University where he studied photography. During 1983, using a 1958 Leica and tri-x, He made a series of photographs documenting a group of street punks hanging around the University District in Seattle. Abrams is published this body of work in Fall 09.
He moved to NYC in 1985 to attend Parsons school of Design and soon after took an internship with the fashion photographer Francesco Scavullo. After convincing Scavullo to donate hundreds of used color seamless rolls left over from past Cosmo cover tries to the Parsons photo department, he started experimenting with extreme color studio photography including cross processing and gels. He developed a wild, in your face style that fit perfectly within the rise of the alternative music scene. For years he photographed album covers for bands such as Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Soundgarden, Pavement, and Dinosaur Jr. and in the fall of 1996 published a book of photographs titled “Noise from the Underground” with Simon & Schuster.
He eventually crossed over and began shooting hip-hop artists, doing album covers for Puffy, Lil’ Kim, Foxy Brown, The Wu Tang and Notorious B.I.G. Along the way, He started to make art photographs for Team Gallery in Chelsea. Over the course of seven years he had three shows. The last one was in 2000, showing photographs from a series of portraits with over fifty different emerging artists including Elizabeth Peyton, Karen Kilimnick and John Currin.
For the last several years he has largely been working editorially, redefining his visual style into a more classic look, yet retaining his iconic and graphic sensibility. A list of clients includes Vogue, Esquire, Town and Country, Outside, People, Lucky, and Bust.