We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Reese and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michael, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I’ve always loved the artistic pursuit but earlier in my career I didn’t see it as a viable way to support myself. I failed at other attempts and career choices that in the end left me feeling empty and unfulfilled. It was only then that I faced myself and asked the question “what truly makes me happy?” The answer was and is now the artistic pursuit, the creative career. I feel one with myself and an absence of conflict as it relates to my career trajectory.Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art speaks to my curiosities, I have a deep interest in the human condition. Not all but a good bit of my art explores the human condition from the perspective of my African American identity. I attempt to shine light in the shadowed portions of history. Through my art I magnify the miraculous history of Black people within historical and current context of an intentionally edited American history. I am formally trained as a photographer, this is what I am degreed in; but I see myself as so much more. I see photography as a tool to magnify the story, explore the truth, give voice to the voiceless and most importantly to create questions. The creative pursuit is not an easy one and it’s not a well beaten path. It takes courage, perseverance, passion and commitment. My path in life has not been linear, it’s been a marvelous zig-zag of epiphanies, joy, pain, and realizations. I had to fail at many things to finally surrender to the calling that was true to my heart. I would share with anyone being faced with the conundrum of “what shall I do with my life?” to be still, meditate, breathe and sit with yourself in the deepest way. An ancient buddhist philosopher once said “in still water you can clearly see your reflection” so it is that I had to be still to truly see myself and the path forward. In addition I would share the age old truth of not chasing money, one should commit to the thing they love and money will inevitably find you. Here’s a quote by the great thinker Michael Beckwith that I absolutely subscribe to: “You cannot have what you’re not willingly to become vibrationally. If you do get it you’ll lose it, because inside you aren’t vibrationally aligned to become it; you can temporarily manipulate and get things but to have it completely you have to lift your vibration and become that frequency. You have to like yourself when you’re by yourself; when you can like yourself when you’re by yourself now you can be with others. If you don’t like yourself when you’re by yourself, then you’re pulling on others to make you happy.” I want other to follow their dreams, no matter the age or station in life, think outside of the box; not enough of us have the courage to do so but once you do life is transforming.If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
1. High Museum 2. EMEF Studio Gallery (Krog Street) 3. Gallery 992 Westend (Music In The Park) 4. Atlanta Jazz Festival (Seasonal) 5. Sandler Hudson Gallery 6. Dekalb Famers Market 7. Buford Farmers Market 8. Little Bangkok 9. Ponce City Market 10. Slutty Vegan 11. Tabernacle (Music venue) 12. Aquarium 13. Peidmont Park
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My parents were always supportive of whatever interest I had. They encouraged me to try new things, explore and to be creatively and intellectually curious.
Linkedin: Michael Reese
Facebook: Michael Reese Studios