Michael Lavine took his first photograph when he was ten with a pinhole camera made out of a milk carton, and the rest is history. He grew up in Denver, Colorado where in high school he played lacrosse and worked as the yearbook photographer. He went to The Evergreen State College in Olympia WA where he fell in with a cool group of misfits and artists. Hanging out on The Ave with his trusty Leica, he documented the underground punk scene of Seattle. 26 years later, Abrams published GRUNGE, the quintessential book of photographs on the birth of that infamous movement.

He could not resist the allure of the Big City so at the tender age of 22 he moved to NYC. He attended Parsons School of Design and interned with photographer Francesco Scavullo. Experimenting with extreme color photography, he developed his own unique, wild, in your face style and immediately went to work. Michael’s photography of bands such as Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Soundgarden, Pavement, and Dinosaur Jr defined the alternative music scene of the 90’s. In the fall of 1996 Simon & Schuster published “Noise from the Underground”

Michael expanded his work to the hip hop community, shooting album covers for major artists such as Puffy, Lil’ Kim, Foxy Brown, The Wu Tang and Notorious B.I.G. And to the art world, where over the course of seven years he had three shows at Team Gallery, exhibiting photographs from a series of artist portraits including Elizabeth Peyton, Karen Kilimnick and John Currin.

Recently, Michael has become interested in creating a more complex body of work driven by emotionally loaded narratives. For the last several years he has been writing and directing dramatic short films. His latest film WEEKEND AWAY, is about a woman who trys to take the weekend off. The short played at festivals all around the country. Michael’s Instagram project, PALE SOULS, pairs photographs with poetic prose and explores the rich interior landscape of sadness, loss and the powerful feelings associated with heartbreak. His current photographic project INTERIOR LIVES investigates the emotionally powerful bond of love.

2 Responses to “BIO”

  1. Paul Gunby says:

    As a fellow high school shooter with you in Denver, I was impressed even then by your level of craftsmanship. You were the kid who went the extra mile, developing prints, or waiting for the shot. It’s a pleasure to see your great body of work and count you as a friend. Love the Cranston video.
    And as always, Have a great summer Dude! 😉 Paul

  2. Theo says:

    Hi Michael,

    I read a post about your Grunge photo book on Flavorwire and I found your book very interesting. I was as kid that Nirvana inspired me so much that I ended up becoming a musician myself.
    If you want you can check the post here!


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