MICHAEL R SOLURI
Michael Soluri is a documentary portrait photographer, picture editor, author, and speaker. His photography explores obscure locations, objects and micro cultures. His current film-based project is an exploration of surfaces and symbols under an isolated, restricted Apollo era launch pad in context to cave art.
His assignments and projects have taken him into cultures not only across America, through Europe, India and Brazil, but into the restricted, behind the scene work cultures of human and robotic spaceflight.
His portrait, travel, fashion, still life editorial photography has appeared in numerous American, European, and Brazilian print and online media like National Geographic, WIRED(USA/UK), Smithsonian Magazine, New York Times, The Washington Post, New Scientist (UK),Time, Discover, Air & Space Magazine, NPR, Huffington Post Highline, Ciel et Espace, Family Circle, Mother Earth News, Grazia, Amica, Vogue Brasil and Claudia.
Over two decades Michael has portrayed the humanity and craft behind the scenes of NASA and its aerospace contractors, His experience brings not only trust, but measurable skill in knowing how to photograph in secure, limited access and unusual work environments that result in images that reveal both a visual sense of craft and unscripted humanity.
As an author, Simon & Schuster published Infinite Worlds - the People and Places of Space Exploration, a coffee table book of Michael’s portraits and behind-the-scenes, unscripted photographs on the labor, tools and humanity that saved the Hubble Space Telescope. Former astronaut and Senator John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, wrote the introduction.
Photographs from his documentation of NASA's New Horizons and the last Hubble servicing mission have been published in Taschen's The NASA Archives: 60 Years in Space by Piers Bizony.
Images from his decade long documentation of the New Horizons mission to Pluto appeared in Picador's Chasing New Horizons by Alan Stern and David Grinspoon.
Eight mural size images from his series on "astronaut space tools as sculpture" are in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC.
He appeared on MSNBC's The Cycle interviewed by Ari Melber along with Krystal Ball, Toure and Abby Huntsman.
The asteroid 2001 QL307 has been named Soluri 187981. Located between Mars and Jupiter, Soluri 187981 has been officially catalogued by the Minor Planet Center at Harvard’s Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.
Based on his participation in the historic STS 125 / Hubble SM4 mission, Michael received a NASA commendation— signed by NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden: "... for contributions that rival the best that NASA has achieved in innovation and overcoming challenges."
And, as a result of photographically documenting the New Horizons mission to the Pluto System since 2005, Soluri received a Group Achievement Award "for exceptional contributions in the successful completion of the initial reconnaissance of the Pluto system ..."
His corporate sponsors include: Canon USA, Legion/Moab papers, EIZO, Cineo Lighting, Glyph Technologies and LiveBooks.
In addition, Michael has been donating his photographic services for the Challenger Foundation since 2014.
Evidence of Spaceflight ...
Through my photographic journeys, the meaning of space exploration unfolds in many unanticipated ways. Self portraiture in space was one. Among the most revealing: an insightful conversation with Neil Armstrong who acknowledged his intent on consciously photographing his shadow in context to his Apollo 11 lunar landing craft.
Then there was guiding Scott Altman— the Commander of STS125 and John Grunsfeld, lead mission specialist on STS 125 Hubble SM4 and crew in documenting their mission while on orbit at the Hubble Space Telescope. Among their significant images, was John's iconic self portrait reflected off of the surface of the orbiting Hubble with the Earth and space shuttle.
Within a restricted dust free environment, I visually explored flown astronaut spaceflight tools as pieces of minimalist sculpture.
Since 2005, I have been documenting behind-the-scenes of NASA's New Horizons mission of the Pluto system with Principal Investigator Alan Stern and the New Horizon's science and engineering teams.
There's also the transcendent.
Influenced by Richard Serra's surface explorations, Apollo’s Cave Art is a film-based investigation into time, space, mystery and loss that contextualizes the surfaces and symbols discovered under an Apollo moon era launch pad with human Paleolithic cave art.
Please see Evidence of Spaceflight ...On Earth > Flame Trench Series > Artist Statement