• Mt1

    Michael Tighe: Julia Roberts

Michael Tighe shares three decades of behind-the-scenes shots of the world's most prolific icons

Posted by Liv Siddall,

River Phoenix swinging from a rope in his garden, Julia Roberts squealing in the waves underneath a boardwalk; Jack Nicholson and Danny Devito drunk in a bar; Elizabeth Taylor giving us the middle finger…these are just a few examples of the kinds of photos Michael Tighe was taking from when he was just 18. In the early 1970s, Michael was shown the ropes by legendary Magnum photographers Arnold Newman and Philippe Halsman and soon began working for Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine.

He was quickly snapping away at what would soon become some of the most recognisable faces in the world, and building up the enormous, captivating portfolio that you can see today. What’s so marvellous about Tighe’s pictures are the revealing captions that appear beneath each photograph. Underneath an off-the-cuff shot of Warhol, Tighe writes; “Andy Warhol in the dining room of the factory. I believe the moosehead along with other taxidermied creatures residing there were from an old hunting lodge he purchased.”

His completely open, honest portfolio of work is really what sets Michael apart from other portrait photographers. His brief biography, which candidly explains the reason behind the large gap in the timeline (heroin addiction and subsequent recovery), indicates to us how his undeniable charm and open character was perhaps the key to his success, and why he was trusted to follow these people to the places where so few others were permitted.

  • Mt2

    Michael Tighe: Jodie Foster

  • Mt3

    Michael Tighe: Armand Assante, Jack Nicholson, Danny Devito and JT Walsh

  • Mt4

    Michael Tighe: Julia Roberts

  • Mt5

    Michael Tighe: Julia Roberts and her mother

  • Mt6

    Michael Tighe: River Phoenix

  • Mt7

    Michael Tighe: Elizabeth Taylor

  • Mt8

    Michael Tighe: Andy Warhol

  • Mt9

    Michael Tighe: Alan Ginsberg

  • Mt11

    Michael Tighe: Gia Carangi, Patti Hensen, Juli Foster and Sandi Linter

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Posted by Liv Siddall

Liv joined It’s Nice That as an intern in 2011 and is now one of our editors. She oversees itsnicethat.com and has a particular interest in illustration, photography and music videos. She also runs our London listings site This At There, and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast.