Spanning decades from the early ’70s to the ’90s, the 70-year-old’s latest publication gives proof that beauty and meaning are truly found in the commonplace moments of life. Dream Away is an ode to the intersection of family life, affection, and candidness. Pulling beautifully askew images directly from the moment they are experienced, Northrup’s photography draws you in viscerally with both its everyday familiarity and fascinating spontaneity.
There’s a delicate, considered nature to the images that stands in stark contrast to their impulsive naturalness. Speaking of this rare talent to memorialize the moment in a recent interview with C41, Northrup humbly suggests that he relies on serendipity most of the time. “I’m far more perceptual than conceptual”, he says. “These images represent a diary of life and the constant is my eye watching and recording this journey”.
Perhaps his 50 years of experience as a photographer offers further explanation for his knack to capture the moment. Nostalgia is an obvious element in the final production, and he speaks with sentimental remembrance of what influences his work. “During the ’50s my older brother told me all the science fiction and horror movies we were seeing were documentaries. And my dad would bring humor to the dinner table on things like bowel obstructions and suicides”, he says. “My whole family was great at extracting humor out of tragedy and that has given me a way of seeing. For me creating images is all about my daily life… and the personal vision I bring to those visual narratives”, he explains.
Dream Away is available now from Stanley/Barker online.
All images © Michael Northrup