Michael Lavine took his first photograph when he was 10 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, smoked pot and worked as the yearbook photographer. At The Evergreen State University in Olympia WA he fell in with a cool group of misfits, and 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 Apple 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.
Lately Michael has become obsessed with making emotionally charged imagery, creating PALE SOULS, a series of images and words bound together exploring the rich landscape of sadness and loss, and INTERIOR LIVES, a project about exploring peoples relationships by looking at how they live, searching for an authentic rendition of the human condition.