Mike Savage was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. After many years of performing, recording and touring as a drummer in punk and indie bands based in Boston and Richmond, touring the country in cramped vans and releasing numerous records, he packed up his family and moved to New York City in 2010.
Exploring the neighborhood streets of NYC, he became captivated by the small and fleeting moments happening in the margins of everyday life within the density of the city. Every frozen glimpse seemed like a photograph and he began to view the surrounding urban environment as an endless procession of framed points in time.
He was soon carrying a camera with him at all hours to document these invisible stories, becoming obsessed with seeing and capturing the human beauty, joys and struggles among the city’s evolving entropy, decay and infinite regenerations.
Savage’s urban photographs have a timeless quality to them; seeming both vintage, current and future, concurrently; revealing and celebrating the Sisyphean life force of the city’s diverse denizens. Within the geometry of his compositions lies his sly sense of humor along with his obvious affection and empathy for the strangers captured in the frames. Each photo seems to be the visual beginning of a story or a fading childhood memory.
Another theme in Savage’s photographs is his frequent use of passenger jets in the compositions, both as the subject or in the background. This visual counterpoint seems to evoke the prospect of hopeful possibilities and new worlds within the miniature moments of his urban scenes. In his own words - “I have been fascinated by air travel since I was a child and tend to take a lot of pictures of airplanes, usually framing them within the life that is on the ground. They represent escape and adventure for me, seemingly within an arms reach for all of us.”
A recent focus in his photos has been the lonely natural beauty of the Cape Cod seashore. On the surface, these seem very different from his urban shots but they soon reveal his compositional eye for small people in a big world and the tension of melancholy and hope that runs through most of his photographs.
Mike currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with his wife and daughter and can be found exploring and photographing the city every day.
Follow me on Instagram