Sunday, October 03, 2004

Richard Avedon

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All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth. --Richard Avedon
Richard Avedon passed away three days ago (news here). Despite the fact that he worked his whole life as a fashion photographer and his portraits were mostly the pictures of celebrities, I consider him a true revolutionary. He changed the way photographs are seen and understood, and established a new style of imaging -so powerful that can not be surpassed easily by any other fashion or portrait photographer.
My favorite, among all his books, is In the American West. I never forget how shocked I was when I saw it for the first time in the late '80s. It changed the meaning of portraiture for me, and I am sure for many others. In another post, I mentioned his influence on the works of the Iranian photographer, Mohsen Rastani.
I hope Rastani continues working on his Avedonian project. His photographs do not give us 'the' truth, but at least they give us a few accurate pictures of parts of the culture haven't been noticed for years.
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* Some of Avedon's older works can be seen here and here. The recent works for The New Yorker can be found here.
* The New Yorker's article about Avedon by Adam Gopnik here.