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David C. Michalek

About this Artist

DAVID MICHALEK is an artist who takes the concept and techniques of photographic portraiture as the starting points for the creation of his works on both a large and small scale and in a range of mediums. These works frequently incorporate performative techniques and storytelling devices and relational aesthetics. He has been drawn in particular to projects that bring together diverse groups of people in settings ranging from galleries to public spaces, churches and community organizations to health-care facilities. Michalek earned a B.A. in English Literature from UCLA and, while in college, worked as an assistant to noted photographer Herb Ritts.

His work has been shown nationally and internationally, with recent exhibitions at the Lincoln Center Festival, the Venice Biennale, the Brooklyn Museum, Yale University, and The Kitchen. Last summer, he presented an outdoor video installation at the L.A. Music Center entitled Slow Dancing – a series of 45 larger-than-life, hyper-slow-motion video portraits of dancers and choreographers from around the world, displayed on multiple screens.

He has collaborated with director Peter Sellars on two staged works: Kafka Fragments, presented as part of Carnegie Hall’s 2005/06 season and revived for these performances; and St. François d’Assise, presented at the Salzburg Festival and Paris Opera. He is a visiting faculty member at Yale Divinity School, where he lectures on religion and the arts. David Michalek lives in New York with his wife Wendy Whelan, principal dancer of New York City Ballet.