Ceci n'est pas une personne/This Is Not A Person
Michael Katcher is a photographer. He is also one of the top talent agents in the business. Katcher was born in Brooklyn into a family of artists. He graduated from Emerson College in Boston with a BFA in Theatre. In 1989 he moved to Los Angeles where he first worked as a casting director, casting such television shows as The Wonder Years, The Larry Sanders Show and 3rd Rock from the Sun. From there he went on to become VP of Casting at CBS, where he oversaw the casting of comedies like Everybody Loves Raymond and The King of Queens. He currently runs the TV Talent area at Creative Artists Agency. His passion, though, has always been the camera.
In his series, Ceci n'est pas une personne / This is Not a Person, he writes with his camera, a modern REANIMATOR, imbuing inanimate bodies with life. The subject of his work is not a person, it's a mannequin that he finds in a department store window. Katcher has an alchemist's eye for character. When he shoots he also casts, anticipating the transformation of actors (in this case mannequins) into entirely different people in his mind's eye. "When I squint my eyes ever so slightly the mannequins become characters in my mind. A false identity becomes a real one. They seem to come to life. Each one has it's own story. I only have a few minutes to set up the shot, using only natural lighting - the sun starting to go down, while the storefront lights start to illuminate. I crop before I take the picture. Usually one shot and I walk away. In processing, there is no manipulation at all. I want the colors to bleed into each other. Whether it's a burst of yellow or some shade of gray, the color makes the picture. I want the photograph to feel like an abstract painting. When the lines are blurred things become something else."