Academic journal article Afterimage

Richard Avedon: 1923-2004

Academic journal article Afterimage

Richard Avedon: 1923-2004

Article excerpt

"As long as people remain curious about life in the twentieth century,
they will turn to Avedon's photographs to see how it looked, and what it
meant".
--Adam Gopnik. The New Yorker, October 11, 2004, p65.

Following a 60-year career, Richard Avedon died in San Antonio. Texas at the age of 81 on October 1st. Avedon, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants, was born in New York City in 1923. He grew up working in his family's dress shop. At age 12, he joined the YMHA's camera club, and by the age of 19 he was photographing soldiers for their ID cards at the Merchant Marines. In 1945, while working in a department store, he was discovered by Harper's Bazaar. In 1965 he joined Vogue where he worked until 1990. Since 1992 he was the first and only staff photographer of The New Yorker.

Avedon's work in fashion and portraiture set a new standard in both fields of photography. Influenced by Hungarian photographer Martin Munkasci, Avedon used the model's actions to suggest a plot and create a setting--a novelty in the history of portraiture. Avedon captured some of the most famous faces of our time--Samuel Beckett, Maryilyn Monroe, Truman Capote, Andy Warhol, and Charlie Chaplain--to list a few. His portraits allow the viewer to face the essence of a subject through a direct, child-like stare. …

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