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A Career-Long Love Affair with Strobes and the Perfect Shot

Michael Northrup's unique perspective on the snapshot aesthetic.

by Michael Northrup
Apr 3 2017, 1:55pm

This story appears in the April issue of VICE magazine. Click HERE to subscribe.

Michael Northrup is an under-appreciated artist, and, in short, we think you should appreciate him. Born in 1948, Northrup has been putting out funny and colorful photos since the 1970s, near the end of the Vietnam War. Endlessly ironic in his work, Northrup says his family, who was "great at extracting humor out of tragedy," has always inspired him and given him "a way of seeing."

"For me, creating images," Northrup has said, "is all about my daily life, those meaningful pictures I'm able to extract from it, and the personal vision I bring to those visual narratives."

At 68, he's still doing what he's always been doing: trying to stay relevant. He shoots everything, now, on his smartphone. Plus, he remains refreshingly candid. He doesn't really care about where he lives. He thrives off boredom. He admits that he could run out of ideas at any moment. But, thankfully for us, he hasn't yet. TARA WRAY