Sunday, July 26, 2009

Richard Avedon

After looking at some of David Bailey's photographs, it seems natural to look at those of Richard Avedon's since they bear a similarity of style ... square frame, plain background, formal yet largely unposed ... David Bailey has the following to say about Avedon ...

“He's so great, maybe the greatest. He defines a particular period in America for me in the same way as Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol and Walker Evans. Avedon is such a personal photographer as well, which is ironic, considering he called his collection simply Evidence. He is also a photographer in the real sense of the word. He never tries to be anything else but someone who takes pictures. A classic imagemaker."

I once owned a set of Avedon's. That sounds rather grand so let me clarify. When barely a teenager, the Beatles were at their height and I loved their music. It therefore seeemed natural to but a set of psychedelically coloured photographic posters of the "fab four" which I put on the walls of my bedroom. Only while researching this blog on Avedon did I come to know they were his images. Good to see photography that is really in the centre of the market place rather than an artistic fringe.

There are quite a lot of Avedon's photographs on the net. The following link is good ...
One can look inside a number of his books here.

Biographical information can also be found. The V+A website mentions the folowing ...

Richard Avedon has transformed fashion photography and portraiture alike, creating an instantly identifiable aesthetic which has influenced countless others. His ‘signature’ large format studio portraits of politicians, writers and artists render the sitters "symbolic of themselves", as he put it. His use of stark white backgrounds and life-size printing places viewers in a new relationship to the photographic image - a physical and almost confrontational one. His ability to create visual tension and surprise through unexpected contrasts is unparalleled.

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