Archetypes: Michael Eastman

 In Culture, Interviews

Michael Eastman, an internationally known, self-taught photographer, has been an innovator and creative force in the arts for over 30 years. His photographs have lined the walls of respected institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago and the Saint Louis Art Museum. With the ability to capture the authentic nature in his subjects, Eastman helps people see more beauty in the world, one photograph at a time.


What is your current mood or state of mind?
Calm for a change; but that won’t last.

What makes you happy?
I am happiest when I am working.

What is your idea of misery?

What did you eat for breakfast today?
Egg whites.

What’s one word that describes you?

What trait do you value most in others?
A good listener with great questions.

What’s your favorite occupation?
What I do.

Who would you most like to be?
A fly-fishing guide in Montana.

What’s your favorite color?
It was the color of oxidized copper, but I am starting to love red.

What is your favorite food?
Fried chicken gizzards.

What food do you like the least?
Green peppers.

If you could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive), who would that be?
My father. When he died, we were both so young.

What vice do you most tolerate in others?
Smoking after overeating.

What talent do you wish you had?
I would like to be able to write as well as I can see.

Who is your favorite artist or author?
I can’t possibly choose one, so: Edward Burtynsky, Andreas Gursky, Pieter Hugo, Kurt Schwitters, Anselm Kiefer and Mark Rothko.

What excites you?
Chasing the light at dusk with my camera.

What do you consider a turn off?
Entitled elitists.

What do you love?
My two favorite women: Gayle, my wife, and our German Shepard, Suki.

What do you hate?
People who hate.

What are you most looking forward to?
The Paris Photo 2010 show.

What is one thing you wish would happen?

What’s something interesting that you just learned?
Things do not necessarily get better with age and time does not heal all wounds.

What’s something you want to learn?
Be in the moment for more than a moment.

What is your personal motto?
No expectations.

In another life, you’d be:
The first Jewish daredevil.

What is your current obsession?
The iPad app “Words with friends.”

What is your favorite word?

What is your least favorite word?

What’s on your “bucket list”?
To take at least one trip without my camera.

Your hidden talent:
I make the best BBQ ribs I have ever eaten.

Personal hero:
At 86, William H. Gass still makes art everyday.

If you could have a conversation with your younger self, what would you say?
Dude! Enjoy it!

‘Archetypes’ are off-the-cuff interviews with St. Louis’ most inspiring, well-known personalities based on the 19th century Parisian parlor game known as the Proust Questionnaire.


1135_473.jpgCelebrated photographer Michael Eastman


Photo credit: Phot by Wesley Law | Art Direction by David Hsia

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