Biography note


Michael A. Russ

Michael was born in Berlin Germany in January 1945.

He was first exposed to photography at the age of ten through his older sister, who attended Lette Haus, a Berlin arts academy.

In 1958 at the age of 13 he came to America to join his mother.

He studied ballet and drama while attending highschool in Denver Colorado and performed locally.

After three years in the U.S. Army, he settled in New York intending to pursue a career in acting.

Inspired by Antonioni's now classic film 'BLOW UP' about a London photographer he began taking pictures of his fellow actors.

Self taught searching for his own style, he began shooting and processing images to look as though they come off the silver screen.

Grainy horizontal pictures in black and white which he toned and handcolored.
His portfolio was built around fashion tests for New York modelling agencies.

His first break was an eight page assignment for MEN'S WEAR magazine in 1969.

In 1971 he shot twenty one pages for GQ's design showcase.

In May of 1973 Michael's style was featured on the cover of ART DIRECTION Magazine.

He liked shooting female erotica and contributed to three PLAYBOY PRESS books.

His career lept forward after moving to Paris in 1976, when he shot 'erotic sequential room stories' for VOGUE HOMMES.

His hand tinted images, which he calls 'TINTONES' where published in German PLAYBOY and leading european trade and avant guarde fashion magazines.

In 1980, his postcards edition THE COMPAGNIE were included in the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, a Louvre annex.

As artistic consultant, Michael developed an erotic feature, 'Mme. Claude II',
(US title: Intimate moments) for the French film industry.

He moved to Los Angeles in 1981 and had an exhibition at the CHINA CLUB in '83, called 'PRUSSIAN BLUE'.

Tom Waits saw Michael?s show and commissioned an album cover, SWORFISHTROMBONES.

Michael also co-directed 'In the Neighborhood', Tom?s MTV video.

In 1984 his son Floyd was born in L.A.

In 1986 he moved to Hamburg and then to Munich and focused on raising Floyd.

During this time he developed his fine art 'TINTONE' photography.

These images were published in various portfolios, magazine galleries and on the covers of reputable european color photo magazines.

In 1994 he produced an experimental promotional TV spot entitled 'OCEANS' for VOX TV in Europe.

He moved back to L.A. in 1996 where he directed Samantha Fox?s comeback video: 'THE REASON IS YOU'.

In 1998 Michael moved to Santa Fe New Mexico, where he studied computer design and produced/directed TV commercials for Donald J. Pliner.

He also exhibited large scale TINTONE Iris/Giclee prints at THE IMAGE HOUSE Gallery, THE PARAMOUNT and FULLER's LODGE in Los Alamos.

In 2002 Michael returned to his native Berlin.
Seven of his images are currently on exhibition at the Berlin Erotic Museum through March 2003.

He continues to work on his film script 'DARK ROOM':

'The mysterious journey of a photographer who recreates images buried in his sub conscience.

e-mail: [email protected]