It was the image that launched the It Girl: Twiggy at 17 years old, staring wide-eyed into the camera, with a flower painted over her right eye. Shot by Richard Avedon, that 1967 photo shoot would go on to cement the British model’s legacy as the leader of the mod squad, and launch a career that would include a presence on stage, onscreen, and in the music scene, in addition to her four years of modeling. (She once had fashion line as well.)
But it wasn’t the first time the photographer, who would have celebrated his 95th birthday earlier this week, created an iconic image—or even the last time he would create one with Twiggy. A year later, the pair reunited in Paris to create a dramatic shot of her looking in the distance with her long hair blowing around her face.
Such stunning portraits, often shot in black and white, were his bread and butter—his career was built on them, from celebrity photo shoots to his celebrated “In the American West” series, a collection of profound photos that characterized the modern West.
There was the 1964 image of Elizabeth Taylor, who looked regal in a wreath of feathers. Avedon shot Audrey Hepburn in 1953 in profile that both captured her beauty and highlighted her neck. And he caught Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan separately in moments of quiet contemplation, Avedon had a way of elegantly distilling his subject’s personality—a talent that led him to become Harper’s Bazaar’s first staff photographer.
“My portraits are more about me than they are about the people I photograph,” Avedon once said, and it led many to believe there was a hidden autobiographical aspect to his work.
But the photographer was also more interested in bringing out qualities he saw in his subjects rather than displaying how they saw themselves. “I often feel that people come to me to be photographed as they would go to a doctor or a fortune teller, to find out who they are,” he said. It played out in his 1957 shot of a melancholic Marilyn Monroe, an image far removed from the flirty bombshell persona for which she was known. But it was also present in the way he controlled the set. From making someone’s favorite food to taking a Kinks-inspired dance break with Twiggy, he gave his subjects room to relax and show him who they really were—a social feat that he elevated to an art.END
prev link: https://www.crfashionbook.com/culture/a20704230/richard-avedon-fashion-photographer-twiggy/
createdAt:Tue, 15 May 2018 16:13:50 +0000