by Anna Randal
“Dear so and so. I’m a young photographer shooting a series of portraits of celebrated New Yorkers. If you could spare a few minutes of your time I would very much like to photograph you.”
Michael Tighe is one of those photographers you can’t quite understand, yet definitely not ignore. His work during the 1970s with Hollywood stars and art people of New York is considered seminal when it comes to celebrity photography. He started his career in 1874, by mailing letters to NY artists asking to photograph them and by 1976, Tighe had all his requests accepted.
According to him, the photograph that really lanched his career was of Baryshnikov getting a massage, for Warhol’s Interview Magazine. Tighe had already photographed the master of pop art and had started a collaboration with the publication. In the following years, Tighe photographed stars like Michael Jackson and Patti Smith, with his dark, mysterious aesthetic marking his distinctive work and his unique style.
Photos via washingtonpost
All photos © Michael Tighe