Michael Garlington is a photographer, master printer and sculptor. He is the son of a journalist and a photographer. Raised in Petaluma, California, he was influenced early on by the mix of hippies, poultry and dairy farmers, metal fabricators, bleeding hearts, artists and transients surrounding him. At 17, he began working with his mother and step father at their photographic lab in San Francisco, Spindler Photographic.
Working at Spindler Photographic was a turning point in Michael’s life. He gained and mastered his skills at black and white film development and printing. The best photographers in the Bay Area at the time were clientele of Spindle Photographic and this exposure informed his composition and developed his dark room talent. By age 21, Garlington embarked on his own artistic mission, photographing the world around him, but more interestingly creating new worlds for his portraits to exist in. By building backdrops and sculptural elements to photograph he created what he calls photosculptures. His work captures luminous, yet often stark imagery encompassing the spectrum of human emotion and experience. The question became what to do with all these images.
In 2000, at the age of 23, Garlington embarked on PhotoCar across the US and Europe. He and artists of various backgrounds traveled in a car covered with his photos. The car initiated interactions with those they encountered along the way. On his trips across the US he thrives on capturing his version of the Americana.
Since 2004, Garlington has been featured in PhotoNY, PhotoLA, and PhotoSF. In 2005 a collection of his portraiture was published under the title, “Portraits from the Belly of the Whale.” He has been exhibited in solo and group shows around the world. In 2009, his work was the target of an art heist in Connecticut. More recently, Garlington has been sought out for his installations.