Artist Spotlight: Andrew Miksys

Posted by on Jul 25, 2013 in Sara Macel | No Comments

Recently, I was checking in with the great online blog Ignant, and I ran across a series called “Bingo” by photographer and artist Andrew Miksys. The bingo halls and eccentric cast of characters in Miksys’s images struck a familiar chord with me having spent time every summer as a kid in the bingo halls of Jupiter, FL with my Grandma Macel. I caught up with Andrew to ask him about the project and what he’s working on now.

Photo by Andrew Miksys

Photo by Andrew Miksys

SM: First off, I just recently came across your “Bingo” series and felt an instant connection both to the subject matter and your style of shooting.  My grammy takes no prisoners when it comes to bingo or poker, and it was a big part of her social life when she lived in Florida.  What first brought you to the bingo table and when did you decide to start this project?

AM: I started the project in Seattle.  For 25 years my father had a bingo newspaper there (Bingo Today).  When I was in high school, I delivered the newspaper to all the bingo halls in Western Washington.  Later I came back and began photographing in the same halls.

Photo by Andrew Miksys

Photo by Andrew Miksys

SM: To be a bit of a tech nerd for a minute, what camera did you shoot this series with and what lighting did you use?

AM: I use 6×7 medium format cameras, the Mamiya 7 and the Pentax 6×7.  The lighting is mostly with a battery powered flash (400ws) on a stand with an umbrella or bounced.  
Photo by Andrew Miksys

Photo by Andrew Miksys

SM: The people portrayed in your photographs are quite a cast of characters.  How did you approach your subjects and how many different bingo joints did you photograph?  Did you have a favorite subject or interaction?
AM: I knew all the regulars and managers so it was very easy to gain access.  I was also living in New Orleans at the time and did a lot of photographing all over Louisiana.  Then I started taking trips around the US to different parts of the country.
My favorite place to photograph was at the St. Stevens Catholic Church in New Orleans.  Really great people there with fantastic style. Some of the women wore Mardi Gras beads year round.  The best person to photograph is the woman wearing the pink hair curlers.  I photographed her several times.  In this pictures she’s getting ready for bingo, drinking a beer and fixing her makeup.
Photo by Andrew Miksys

Photo by Andrew Miksys

SM: Tell me about The Tulips Project.
AM: TULIPS is a project I’ve been doing in Belarus (White Russia) the last 4 years.  Super interesting place.  On the TULIPS website (www.thetulipsproject.com) I’m starting to post videos, photographs and text from the project.  It’s kinda a “making of” site.  Hoping to make a book of this work next year.
Photo by Andrew Miksys

Photo by Andrew Miksys

SM: Lastly, what is your idea of a perfect summer day?

AM: Making pickles and drinking vodka.

Leave a Reply