Michael Fazakerley's photography exhibit titled “Nightbirds” opens at the Stonewall Museum in Wilton Manors on October 18 and runs through January 20, 2019.
The 150 images are of NYC's club culture personalities of the LGBTQ scene then. Most of the works where commissioned and printed at the time for publications.
The show has early images of RuPaul, Lady Bunny, Amanda Lapore, Quinten Crisp and many others. It covers fashion, drag, music, DJ's, portraits, wigstock, gogo boys and The Clubkids.
“Planning and curating this show and its future gave me a new purpose. I am making provisions to leave my archives to Stonewall to live on and will work with them now to get it out there. All proceeds will go to their museum and library. I believe they are an important part of our history and will keep the integrity of my work,” Fazakerley said. “I first went to Stonewall in 2014 because I wanted to secure a place where my archives would live on in history. They offered to exhibit my works which I always wanted to do. I hope you will come to see the exhibit and help support the museum. It’s a colorful, bold, graphic show and a labor of love that is part of our history.”
Michael Fazakerley was born in Philly in 1958 and grew up with dreams of becoming a photographer. He attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, graduating in 1982.
Fazakerley won an award/grant from Andy Warhol and Bruce Webber while in school and started his own business as a photographer doing model’s portfolios and fashion jobs.
Fazakerley became a photo stylist for dozens of other professionals including Scavullo and Greg Gorman, doing wardrobe, props, sets and casting while still pursuing his own photos.
In 1989 Fazakerley, with a group of friends, started a fanzine called Pansybeat that covered the gay scene of Manhattan. PB did 5 seasonal issues before it ended but it was revisited this year when a book of all 5 issues with updated materials was published with 200 of Fazakerley’s images.
After PB Fazakerley worked with the HX New York City guide and Project X magazine, producing many covers and editorials. His work has also appeared in Advocate, Village Voice, Elle, Paper, New York Times, London's Guardian and Berlin's Manner and Magnus.
Fazakerley did invites to clubs and the infamous Clubkid collectable cards for Limelight.
The peak of the HIV epidemic from 1986 to 1995 cast a dark shadow over the city. The world rebelled to fight it either through Act Up revolts or living on edge like Orwell's “1984.” In 1990 Fazakerley was diagnosed with HIV and today considers himself to be a proud, fortunate long term survivor.
Michael Fazakerly in 2018.
In 1995 Fazakerley changed careers to visual merchandising, taking a position with Calvin Klein. In 2000 he moved to Georgio Armani's AX brand.
In 2005 he called it quits and packed up, moving to South Florida where he had often visited and loved.
Fazakerley started a greeting card line Camp101 of his images, which last years. After that he went into hotel hospitality industry as a front desk manager.
In 2013 Fazakerley semi-retired and now works as a professional pet sitter, volunteers at the museum, is working on a book as well as a tour of his “Nightbirds” show, which is being planned for LA, NY and Berlin for now.
In 2016 Fazakerley had open heart surgery, and he almost didn't make it, but now he’s doing great.