I was born in Memphis, Tennessee on a hot summer day in 1962.  I suppose my life was about as normal as any other child's at the time, but the times were anything but normal.  It was a time of upheaval and change.  The war in Viet Nam was a daily feature on the evening news, and the civil rights movement was sweeping across the nation.  The latter came to Memphis and put the city on the map for something more sinister than barbeque or rock and roll, as Martin Luther King's life was senselessly ended on the balcony of a downtown motel.  Not too much of it made sense to a young boy, and I suppose it sparked my curiosity about the world.  There were so many stories, but the realities of life and the world were a mystery to me.  

I was a creative kid, spending a lot of time alone drawing, painting, and writing little stories to amuse my family.  I used to paint pictures on Coca Cola bottles, set up a stand next to the street and sell them to any poor sucker who forked out a buck or some change.  Perhaps my greatest passion as a child was for movies.  I loved movies and secretly dreamed of one day seeing myself on the big screen.  I rode my bicycle to the theatre at least once a week to see what was playing, and by the time I turned sixteen I was working there, tearing tickets, popping popcorn, and getting the greatest thing I could imagine, free movies.  

It was at the movie theatre, while I was a freshman in college, that I bought a used 35mm camera from a friend.  I had no notion that my life was about to change, but change it did.  I enrolled in a photography course offered by the art department at University of Memphis, and from the moment I developed my first roll of film I was obsessed with making images.

The rest is history, as they say - well sort of, but not really.  I went on to discover a film program at university and eventually earned a B.A., with a concentration in television and film production.  I worked for many years in video production and photography, doing freelance work and working in staff positions.  After a career of starts and stops I moved to the west coast.  Unable to find work as a photographer I rode the wave of success during the dotcom boom and ended up living in San Francisco for 12 years.  Boom turned to bust, and my life was beginning to feel like a rat in a maze.  So, after barely picking up a camera for several years, I returned to my passion, never to leave it behind again.

I currently live in Cusco, Peru.  If you plan to visit Cusco, please contact me and let me show you around.

LensWork - Issue #65 (July/August 2006)
File Magazine
The New York Times
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Clinton / Gore Campaign
Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson
Facing History and Ourselves
United Way
Group Exhibitions
California Modern Art Gallery, San Francisco, CA (2006)
Space  Gallery, San Francisco, CA (2005)
The Cookie Factory, Memphis, TN (1994)
LensWork EXTENDED #65 (May 2006) by Brooks Jensen



Copyright Michael Evans 1999-2009, All Rights Reserved.