Michael W. Hicks

Michael W. Hicks was born and raised in New Jersey. He works with photography, film and video, using cinematic modes of presentation that play with the viewer’s sense of time and place. He is pursuing his MFA in Art Photography at Syracuse University, where he will graduate in 2018 and where he also teaches photography. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, including shows at the Haubrok Foundation in Berlin, Germany, at Lightwork in Syracuse, NY and at the Leica Gallery in Washington, DC.

High Noon

High Noon is driven by the search for purpose in a world that feels devoid of meaning. I use my own experience with the death of my father, a salesman, as motivation for the work I make. The visual aesthetics of film noir suggest psychological anxiety, fear, desire, and a narrative repressed beneath the surface.

I consider myself both a casting director and a location scout. In creating a world, I seek out people and places that evoke an uncanny normalcy, of something that feels both real and manufactured, both of this world and set apart from it. The places I photograph are treated like theatrical sets, and the people I photograph are characters. Actors, models and artificial lighting are combined to create a psychologically charged space between document, fiction, and performance.

The subjects of my photographs strive for something that lies just out of reach. They are men who have tried and failed to live up to a masculine ideal and are no longer sure of what to live for. They are characters that I have cast as hotel clerks, salespeople, lounge singers, bartenders, police detectives, actors, and actresses. They move through a manufactured landscape, playing their prescribed roles, existing in suspended moments of tension that never resolve, aware that death lies at the end of every road. The action is happening just out of frame, much like death, standing at the edge of what we can comprehend.

To view more of Michael’s work please visit his website.