A Photograph That Made Me Think- ‘The Bogeyman’ by Duane Michals (1973)

I have chosen one image from the six image photo series ‘The Bogeyman’ by Duane Michals. The theme of this series drifts from reality to fantasy and sets important conventions that you find in modern fantasy cinema, making it very innovative for a series of images from the 1970s. I’ve chosen this particular image firstly because I find it’s visual qualities the most intriguing out of the whole series; it’s the transitioning image of the series, and from here on the ‘bogeyman’ comes to life. This is where the series takes a much more sinister and fantastic turn, and to me what makes it so interesting is the consistent uncanny and uncomfortable feeling that ultimately comes to a crescendo in the second half of the series- beginning with my chosen image. I feel that Duane Michals’ creative intentions for this series were to play on human emotion and fear, firstly because the bogeyman was a very famous mythical childhood monster, something every child was scared of-which is represented by the small child in the series, and because the set begins in a very mundane and everyday setting, it is very easy for viewers to relate to it and feel a sense of uncomfortable nostalgia.

Farren Quinn

L1 Photography, University of the West of England

 

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