<h6 class=”p1″><span class=”s1″>By Martin L. Supowitz | </span><span class=”s1″>Photographs by Michael Supowitz </span></h6>
We Pittsburghers take pride in our emerald hills, valleys, and rivers. Our topography bursts with variety and unpredictability. Without art, however, we feast off Pittsburgh landscapes privately. One purpose of art is to provide the framing and perspective needed to see together. You don’t need art to rank Pittsburgh among the most beautiful cities of the world. But you do need art to make Pittsburgh’s natural beauty a public experience.
Pittsburgh is fortunate to have a young digital photographer intent on sharing Pittsburgh’s beauty with locals and the world. His name is Michael Supowitz, 25, born and bred here. Michael is not your stereotypic artistic photographer. With nothing but an inexpensive pocket camera, he manages to capture breathtaking panoramas in vivid photorealism. He has an eye for selecting and framing his subjects in ways that bring out what others had not before noticed. His photos teach us about the intricate craftsmanship of beam and bolt at the base and underbelly of some of our famous suspension bridges. They let us appreciate the embroidery of the chain-links in a cyclone fence scaling a river trail. They allow us to witness a railroad track on red gravel cutting through a meadow of green foliage on a fading Pittsburgh afternoon. With one side of the meadow in deep shade and the other in bright sunlight, Supowitz invites us to explore how much dark/light green can absorb and still remain green.
Where did Supowitz do his art training? How did he develop his eye to see the unseen? Before I answer, full disclosure: I am Michael’s father. Michael’s path to art, like his art itself, was not conventional. When Michael was two-and-a-half, he was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Delay, a diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum. His early years were spent in silence. My wife Linda and I surrounded him with a team of dedicated specialists who taught him to speak, listen, and practice the natural rhythms of conversation. His various therapies were long and arduous and, in the end, successful. Michael now works two jobs in which he takes great pride. He has built relationships of trust and mutual respect with his co-workers. He enjoys a rich social network of family and friends. He is especially close to his big sister, Ally, who was there for him from the beginning. But despite all the training to see and attend as others do, Michael from the start of life was seeing and attending “against the grain.” Michael’s determination to confront his challenges in life gave him a voice in art that others are now hailing.
In May & June 2018, some of Michael’s framed photographs were on display in the street front windows of the Friendship Circle in Squirrel Hill. Acclaimed artists and the public alike have praised Michael’s talent. In the near future, you will be able to visit www.michaelsupowitz.com to view and purchase limited runs of his photo prints. We hope to see you there.
Michael Supowitz Photography, michaelsupowitz.com