Born in North Carolina, Childers
attended the UCLA Film School
where he directed student films
and began his photography
career by studying with Robert
Heineken and Edmund Teske. Childers created the mixed media work for the record-breaking
run of the hit off-Broadway musical “Oh! Calcutta!” for Kenneth Tynan in New York. Tynan subsequently invited Michael to
work for Sir Laurence Olivier’s National Theatre in London, and he remains the only American photographer invited to
photograph productions at this prestigious institution. He went on to become a founding photographer for Andy Warhol’s
Interview and After Dark magazines. For Dance magazine, he produced many covers including those featuring the Joffrey
Ballet, the Royal Ballet, and the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. He also co-authored the book, Bejart: The World of Dance.
From his Melrose Avenue and Venice studios, Childers photographed more than 200 magazine covers, including GQ, New
York, TV Guide, Esquire, Los Angeles, Elle, Paris Match, Life, London Sunday Times Magazine, and both English and Italian
Vogue. He created more than 150 album covers and film posters for major motion picture studios and worked as a special
photographer on dozens of films, including Grease, Marathon Man, The Year of Living Dangerously, Coal Miner’s Daughter,
Pennies from Heaven, The Terminator, Hammett, Torch Song Trilogy, Endless Love, The Champ, and Oceans 12.
In 2003, Palm Springs Desert Museum presented a forty-year retrospective of Michael’s work titled Icons and Legends: The
Photography of Michael Childers. The three-month show was enjoyed by more than 55,000 visitors. Michael received the Lifetime Achievement Award for
Hollywood Photography at the Temecula Film Festival in September of 2004, and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Hollywood Photography from the
Provincetown Film Festival that same year. At the Los Angeles Film Festival in June 2006, La Dolce Vita: The Photography of Michael Childers was presented.
Also in 2006, the Palm Springs Art Museum (née Desert Museum) presented Celebration of Three Hollywood Photographers: George Hurrell, Sid Avery, and
Michael Childers. And in October 2006, the Tom of Finland Foundation inducted Michael into their Hall of Fame for his erotic photography. Also, he was
included in a group show, “I Shot Andy Warhol” at Fahey Klein Gallery in Los Angeles. In 2013, he received the Crystal Lens Award from Palm Springs
Modernism Week and the Distinguished Photographer Award from the Palm Springs Fine Art Fair and recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from
the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
In the summer of 2007, the “Rockin’ Hollywood” exhibit at the Queen Mary Gallery in Long Beach featured portraits of rock-n-roll icons and music legends,
which was viewed by over 30,000 people. Michael was awarded a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Fame in March of 2008, which was presented by Lily the Snowman, and The Believers. Michael also worked as a production assistant on The Day of The Locust and Midnight Cowboy.
Michael is a sought-after lecturer on photography by colleges, art centers and cruise ships with his various lectures/shows on working with famous performers,
authors, artists and architects of our time, including “Icons & Legends” and “Art & Fame.” In February 2014, Michael was a featured speaker at The Rancho
Mirage Writers Festival in Rancho Mirage, CA. “Author, Author,” a collection of celebrated modern and contemporary authors, playwrights, poets and
screenwriters, has been exhibited in over a dozen major American libraries across the United States. The exhibition and a lecture by Michael were most
recently featured at Harvard University Graduate School of Education’s Gutman Library in the Fall of 2015.
In 2011, a “David Hockney – Andy Warhol” exhibition was shown at the Talisman Gallery in Bergamot Station, Santa Monica. In October 2011, the Carmel
Film Festival featured “Famous Faces on Film.” Michael’s “Distortions” show was exhibited at the Michael Lord Gallery, February-March 2012. Backyard
Oasis: The Swimming Pool in Southern California Photography, 1945-1982, part of the Getty Museum’s Pacific Standard Time, was at the Palm Springs Art
Museum January-May 2012. His iconic photograph, “The Hockney Swimmer”, was the cover of the Backyard Oasis catalogue and has been featured in
international publications, including Time Magazine, The London Telegraph, Vanity Fair and American Vogue. In March 2014, Michael had a successful show
of color field landscape photography entitled “Fusions” at Melissa Morgan Fine Art in Palm Desert, CA. In May 2014, a selection of Michael’s photographs was
included at Archangel Gallery’s “Special Collectors” exhibition in Palm Springs as well as an upcoming group show in the fall. “Mythic Moves” opened at
Melissa Morgan Fine Art in March 2015.
Other shows include:
“Warhol And His Superstars” at the Stephen Cohen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
“Nude Distortions” at the Peter Blake Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA
“Ed Ruscha” at Imago Gallery, Palm Desert, CA
“Exotic Nudes” at Archangel Gallery, Palm Springs, CA
“Icons & Legends” at LewAllen Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
“Distortions” at Alan Avery Art Company, Atlanta, GA
Born in North Carolina, Childers