Michael L Abramson was born in New Jersey in 1948, the late American photographer graduated with Master of Photography from Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago in 1977. His work was regularly featured in Time, New York Times, Newsweek, People, Forbes, Harpers, Wall Street Journal and other popular American and international magazines.

He was a highly sought after commercial portrait photographer and photojournalist. His subjects comprised celebrities, prominent stars from sport, politics and the entertainment industry included Bill Clinton, Steve Jobs, Steven Spielberg, Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey and many more.


Yet it was his 1970s series documenting the Chicago South side club scene that made Abramson’s name. Influenced by Brassaï’s photographs of the 1920s Paris, Abramson caught the stylish nightlife of the funk and soul era in full, alluring swing.

His work was exhibited frequently since 1978, including a solo show at Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, in 2014 and in the same year the group show on American Photography since 1950 at Madison Museum of Contemporary Arts (US).

Many of Abramson’s south side prints were published in a photography book/ 2 LP record set entitled Light on the South Side (2009), by Chicago music recording company Numero Group.


Following Abramson’s death in 2011 a new book entitled Gotta Go Gotta Flow: Life, Love, and Lust From Chicago’s South Side was released by Chicago-based Chicago City Files Press (2015).


His photographs are in major collections including the Smithsonian, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Chicago History Museum, the Milwaukee Art Museum, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the California Museum of Photography and various private collections.