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Thread: Avedon

  1. #11

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    Re: Avedon

    Quote Originally Posted by Pieter View Post
    I know there are those in this forum who don't particularly like Richard Avedon's work...
    You can't be serious?!? One of THE most important photographers, EVER. Saw his exhibition in FoAm, Amsterdam 2009, gave me goose skin. That never happened to me before, or after. OK, taste is subjective...
    The future is not what it used to be - Arthur C. Clarke

  2. #12

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    Re: Avedon

    There's a pretty big error of fact in that article: Avedon had been using a Deardorff since the early 1950's - he later acquired a Sinar Norma (with the shutter etc) for studio work, but it may have been that he acquired a new Deardorff about that time in the late 60's - I recall reading somewhere about him having a rather opulent case (Louis Vuitton?) made for it or the Rolleiflexes. Earl Steinbicker's recollections of assisting/ studio managing for Avedon cover quite a chunk of 1952-65 - and he recounts the Deardorff as having been there from when he started - https://lifeslittleadventures.typepa...months_on.html

    Further edited to add: https://lifeslittleadventures.typepa...edon-ye-2.html which covers most of the cameras used up to 1965.
    Last edited by interneg; 19-Oct-2020 at 17:03.

  3. #13
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Avedon

    Jeroen - I am proudly one of those who finds Avedon generally pretentious, and often downright goofy in the sense of being overtly predictable 60's era in an especially obnoxious manner. There, I've said it, just so you know people like me truly exist, and really are sick of seeing Avedon's images plastered everywhere over and over again. Now I'll step out of the picture, so those of you who sincerely like his work can proceed with your own discussion. But in parting, lest you think some nobody like me is the only type of person holding such an opinion, just recall what Kertesz said about him : "A Zero". Apparently, New Yorkers can be really outspoken about one another when they need to be. And Kertesz's highly poetic photography, itself no-nonsense, that I do admire, especially as the output of someone who wasn't either chasing money or scheming to achieve fame, because he already had so much, that he really didn't need more, and it was left out of the equation when he took pictures.

  4. #14
    Helcio J Tagliolatto's Avatar
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    Re: Avedon

    Avedon was pretentious, indeed.
    For me, his art is overrated.

  5. #15

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    Re: Avedon

    The NYT also has a review of an Avedon biography, “What Becomes a Legend Most,” by Philip Gefter: Richard Avedon, a Photographer Who Wanted to Outrun the Glitz Factor
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/19/b...ip-gefter.html

  6. #16

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    Re: Avedon

    Quote Originally Posted by r_a_feldman View Post
    The NYT also has a review of an Avedon biography, “What Becomes a Legend Most,” by Philip Gefter: Richard Avedon, a Photographer Who Wanted to Outrun the Glitz Factor
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/19/b...ip-gefter.html
    Thank you for this, I just read it this morning and as thinking I should add it to this thread.

    David

  7. #17

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    Re: Avedon

    I happened to be at the 2002 interview he did at the Met. My boss' wife couldn't go and he offered me the ticket at the last minute. At the time, I was interested in photography but didn't know who he was or that he was important. I was only told that it was very rare for him to speak publicly.

    I remember him showing other images from the Warhol factory shoot. As I recall, he showed photos taken immediately before and after the ones he selected and talked about why he picked the ones he did and why he composed them as he did. Though the other fames were very similar, the ones he selected were somehow better and the compositions are really special.

    Also fun to imagine shooting 91 8x10 frames in one afternoon. Must have been quite a stack of film holders.

  8. #18
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Avedon

    One more reason not to be impressed by him. A machine-gunner, hoping that one shot out of 91 will actually hit the target. That's also quite a stack of money to burn on a single session. I realize that some of those sessions involved multiple models, sequentially posed against white sheets, like bugs in a row pinned to a white-lined insect collection box. Whatever. Leaves me cold. Worse still was when he'd tie up famous sitters in such a long session that it would deliberately wear them out with exhaustion until it made them look haggard, and then he'd press the shutter when they were off guard, and then claim it was revealing their real hidden soul, or whatever. Gimmicks, always gimmicks.

  9. #19

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    Re: Avedon

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    One more reason not to be impressed by him. A machine-gunner, hoping that one shot out of 91 will actually hit the target. That's also quite a stack of money to burn on a single session. I realize that some of those sessions involved multiple models, sequentially posed against white sheets, like bugs in a row pinned to a white-lined insect collection box. Whatever. Leaves me cold. Worse still was when he'd tie up famous sitters in such a long session that it would deliberately wear them out with exhaustion until it made them look haggard, and then he'd press the shutter when they were off guard, and then claim it was revealing their real hidden soul, or whatever. Gimmicks, always gimmicks.
    Not a white sheet in his studio it was a giant white cycloramic wall illuminated on each side by floor to ceiling banks of strobe heads and with a huge white umbrella suspended over the subjects head. By huge I mean several feet in diameter. I watched a couple of these high key shoots and they were rather complex.

  10. #20
    Pieter's Avatar
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    Re: Avedon

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    One more reason not to be impressed by him. A machine-gunner, hoping that one shot out of 91 will actually hit the target. That's also quite a stack of money to burn on a single session. I realize that some of those sessions involved multiple models, sequentially posed against white sheets, like bugs in a row pinned to a white-lined insect collection box. Whatever. Leaves me cold. Worse still was when he'd tie up famous sitters in such a long session that it would deliberately wear them out with exhaustion until it made them look haggard, and then he'd press the shutter when they were off guard, and then claim it was revealing their real hidden soul, or whatever. Gimmicks, always gimmicks.
    No one is "machine-gunning" with an 8x10, even with all the resources and assistants Avedon had. You may dislike Avedon, his style or technique, but when you cannot see through the camera, you can only guess if the subject's eyes are open or what the exact expression is. Then factor in multiple subjects. If he or his client can afford it and because of his fame and reputation, subjects would put up with it, more power to him. Remember, they can always get up and leave. By the way, I don't believe he ever said he was capturing the real person--he always said he could never photograph anything but the surface.

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