Michael Paul is a self-taught photographer. He has put together some amazing videos that have already received attention through there visual scenes and the music of artists that he adds to the compilation. His Hurricane Sandy video, which has an introduction by the pop star Midge Ure who wrote ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’, has received an OBE from Queen Elizabeth. His Mark Carson video (he was murdered on the street in a gay hate crime in May) was posted on several gay magazine sites like Instinct Magazine. His photographs tend to be of daily street scenes and hidden sights in Lower Manhattan. While his music videos have a broad dramatic intent, where he tries to touch the hearts of people who don’t get to see New York City. You can see more of Michael’s work at https://www.facebook.com/HawkeyeBulletin.
Tell me, Michael, how does it feel to find and pursue your ‘Passion?‘
I moved from Copiague, Long Island to New York City in 1986. I experienced love, romance, working for the money, wearing designer clothes, club hopping, walking on the wild side, all that. I moved back to Long Island in 2005 to take care of my mother when my father had passed away. I quit my job in the city, lost contact with friends and reconnected with my mother one on one. When she passed in 2009, I lost direction and purpose. Selling the house and coming into money was not a blessing so much as a curse. I had people pulling at me from all angles, no privacy, and my view of the city glazed over. I had to finish all that to be able to be where I am now. I feel young and energized. I am living the life of an artist. This beautiful city has visuals in the form of historical architecture. There are free outdoor festivals, concerts, and gatherings that I photograph. I see something in everything in Manhattan. My daily motivation is ‘what next’!
America was a video where he used Neil Diamond’s song America, was dedicated to my great grandmother Maria Ryan. At 20, she emigrated from County Clare in Ireland to New York City alone. In 1872 she traveled in steerage class on the fastest schooner in the world, The City Of Brussels. The journey took nearly 8 days. It has been used in ESL (English as a Second Language) classes.
Another class used his Hurricane Sandy Photographs in a Before and After a project, where he took a Flat Stanley Figure and posed him in the same exact position of where he was standing in many photographs where the hurricane had damaged so much. Museum of the City of New York received thousands of photographs from hundreds of photographers, documenting the region’s preparations for the storm, and the resiliency and rebuilding of communities in the greater New York City metropolitan area.