MICHAEL R SOLURI
Michael Soluri is a documentary portrait photographer who 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 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.
With an introduction by John Glenn, Simon & Schuster published Infinite Worlds, a coffee table book of Michael’s portraits and behind-the-scenes photographs on the labor and tools that saved the Hubble Space Telescope.
Photographs from his documentation of NASA's New Horizons and last Hubble servicing mission have just 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.
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 ..."
Soluri is represented by Carrie Hannigan and Josh Getzler, of the New York based literary agency Hannigan Salky Getzler.
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 ...
I am a documentary photographer who explores obscure locations, objects and the behind-the-scenes of micro cultures in human and robotic space exploration ... on Earth.
On these 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 landing craft; 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; visually exploring flown astronaut spaceflight tools as pieces of minimalist sculpture; discovering the profound in the year to year since 2005 and eventually the day to day documentation of New Horizons flyby mission of the Pluto system in 2015 with Principal Investigator Alan Stern and the New Horizon's science and engineering teams.
There's also the transcendent:
A film-based metaphysical exploration of surfaces and symbols in a cave-like trench under a historically restricted Apollo era launch pad in context to cave art.
Inaccessible to the public, the launch pad's cave like flame trench revealed a sublime record of fleeting, frozen-in-the-moment abstract forms, shadowed shapes and textured flaking surfaces from the decades of rocket exhaust flames and water from the Saturn V Apollo Moon and Space Shuttle eras.
Although technicians had hand painted imperfect + O 0 ⏥ ⎕ ☐ ⏤ often in black, white, and red ochre to reference structural changes or the need for utilitarian repairs in the flame trench before or after a shuttle launch, their archaeological context to similar color schemes and signs found in early human cave art became evident.
Please see Evidence of Spaceflight ...On Earth > Flame Trench Series > Artist Statement