In this third, photo-based chapter of the Damiani series, Michael Stipe explores strength, courage and vulnerability, pausing the project abruptly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. What follows is a lockdown interpretation of a 21st-century portrait, with a resolute desire to show our resilience, our humour, our collective fortitude and our adaptability.
Through unique QR codes, the book is enriched by free audio content which deepens and enhances the discovery of the images. Scanning the QR code opens access to the “making-of” anecdotes and the intention behind the book, as told by Stipe.
As an undergraduate studio art major at the University of Georgia, Michael Stipe (born 1960) studied photography and painting before leaving school upon the formation of R.E.M., the band for which he served as frontman and singer/songwriter until its dissolution in 2011. The sensibility that he began to develop during his time as an art student transferred to the spectrum of his work for R.E.M., from art directing all graphic, video and stage design, to writing, composing and performance, and his iconoclastic personal style. Stipe’s visibility as a media figure in the popular culture of the 1980s and ’90s left an indelible mark on the aesthetic trends of the time, many of which have trickled down to contemporary culture.