Mike Spitz grew up in Cincinnati and completed his BFA in Acting from New York University. After a career in theater, commercials, and independent movies, he wrote, directed, and photographed several short films that have appeared in many film festivals worldwide and on international television. Spitz has self-published three books of photography: Etranger (Xlibris.com), Crumbling City (Blurb.com), Medicated for Your Protection – Portraits of Mental Illness (Blurb.com) that also comes in a limited edition designed and printed by Artists Corner & BookMaking/Global Media Network, and most recently, For the Record, a nostalgic journey through used record stores. With a strong interest in psychology, he holds a Masters Degree in Social Work and he works as a licensed clinical therapist with children, teenagers, and families at Harbor-UCLAHospital. He has exhibited his work at many galleries and recently won Honorable Mention at the North Valley Art League juried competition. Spitz was a founding member of F9 Gallery, a photography collective in Culver City, California.
“Photography allows me more awareness of the things I experience and observe, and it helps me make sense of the world by creating a meaningful interpretation of my life and my observations. The way I see the world is informed by my experiences as a psychotherapist and as a former actor and filmmaker. As a therapist, I strive to bring awareness, emotional healing, and a sense of repair and order to the lives of my clients. I cannot avoid or deny people’s problems, dysfunctions, nor the good that is inside them. The more I explore the world through my photography, the more I’ve noticed that my two professions merge. In some ways they are one in the same. When I photograph, I am drawn to the eccentric, the ugliness, the rawness of character, the roughness, and the outsiders who are different in some way. These qualities are what stand out for me in a subject. The imperfections and disorder in the personality of a place or an individual intrigue me. As a counselor and as a photographer, I come into contact with people I would not normally encounter nor speak with on a daily basis. This allows me access into a tenuous world that I want to explore. I want to capture people and places in a way that is lasting. Maybe it’s a primitive fear of loss, abandonment, or a need to hold onto things that are at the root of all photography. All I know is that photography allows me a form of expression that is deeply embedded, psychological, and feeds my soul”.