Photographer Biography – AVEDON, RICHARD

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AVEDON, RICHARD
USA, 1923 – 2004

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Born in New York in 1923, Richard Avedon dropped out of high school and joined the Merchant Marine’s photographic section. Upon his return in 1944, he found a job as a photographer in a department store. Within two years he had been “found” by an art director at HARPER’S BAZAAR and was producing work for them as well as VOGUE, LOOK, and a number of other magazines.

During the early years, Avedon made his living primarily through work in advertising. His real passion, however, was the portrait and its ability to express the essence of its subject.

As Avedon’s notoriety grew, so did the opportunities to meet and photograph celebrities from a broad range of disciplines. Avedon’s ability to present personal views of public figures, who were otherwise distant and inaccessible, was immediately recognized by the public and the celebrities themselves. Many sought out Avedon for their most public images.

His artistic style brought a sense of sophistication and authority to the portraits. More than anything, it is Avedon’s ability to set his subjects at ease that helps him create true, intimate, and lasting photographs.

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Throughout his career Avedon has maintained a unique style all his own. Famous for their minimalism, Avedon portraits are often well lit and in front of white backdrops. When printed, the images regularly contain the dark outline of the film in which the image was framed.

Within the minimalism of his empty studio, Avedon’s subjects move freely, and it is this movement which brings a sense of spontaneity to the images. Often containing only a portion of the person being photographed, the images seem intimate in their imperfection.

While many photographers are interested in either catching a moment in time or preparing a formal image, Avedon has found a way to do both.

These are some of his photos:

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