A brilliant artist reputed for his framing of vision, Michael Snow is hard to frame. He’s hungry for attention, but he doesn’t want to talk about himself. Yet while he insists his biography is in his work, he hasn’t been afraid of putting himself in the picture. He is, after all, the man who made an artwork of twenty-four blown-up polaroids of his own face, eyes shut, blocking the view in Venice. Another work, Authorization, shows Snow taking photographs of Snow in a mirror. Cover to Cover, his remarkable cinematic, complex, beautiful book, is a day in the life of the artist presented through paired images—front and back, photographed simultaneously by two cameras—printed recto-verso on the page. All self-portraits, they reveal remarkably little of the self, deflecting inquiries of a personal nature onto the process by which inquires are conducted, recorded and ultimately resolved. But just who is this Michael Snow anyway?
So begins our Spring 1994 cover story. To keep reading, view a PDF of the entire article.