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Magers, Michael (1976 - Present)

Untitled from Independent Mysteries, 2017

Medium: Photography
Date: 2023
Size (H x W): 23 x 33 (inches)
Edition: 2/5
Signature: M.P. Magers
Condition: Very fine

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“May 2017, Yakushima, Kagoshima Prefecture–This image is the cover of my book, Independent Mysteries (2019), and perhaps the image most representative of the title. Yakushima is one of the southernmost parts of Japan, a wild island famous for its ancient forests and 1000-year-old trees. I’ve heard it’s the birthplace of animism and nature worship in Japan that eventually morphed into modern day Shinto. This image always confounds me. I was hiking up a trail deep in the forest and coming down the mountain was an older man, well dressed in a suit carrying a briefcase. It was pure cognitive dissonance at every level. Many Japanese have asked me about his mental state. I’m cautious to comment that he was coming down the mountain and seemed quite cheerful–we spoke with him briefly, as much to confirm he wasn’t an apparition as anything else!”

- Michael Magers

About the artist

Born in Dallas in 1976, Michael Magers is a documentary photographer and journalist whose work takes him all over the world. From deep dives into international food cultures to intimate views into the ateliers of traditional artisans, Magers imbues each photograph with a story. In 2013, he stepped back from a corporate career to hone a more creative life and pursue his passion for photography. Based between New York City and Austin, Texas, Michael Magers is a frequent collaborator with the highly acclaimed team at Roads & Kingdoms and served as the lead photographer on their award-winning travel books Rice Noodle Fish (2015) and Grape Olive Pig (2016) published by Harper Collins/Anthony Bourdain. His work has been exhibited internationally–from Cuba to Japan, Paris to New York–and appeared in a wide range of digital and print publications including TIME, Smithsonian, CNN, and The Washington Post, to name just a few. In 2019, he released his first monograph, Independent Mysteries, a selection images from his years on the road juxtaposed with original writing from his friends and collaborators.