Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Eyes of Fashion: Irving Penn

"Sensitive people faced with the prospect of a camera portrait put on a face they think is one they would like to show the world. ...Very often what lies behind the facade is rare and more wonderful than the subject knows or dares to believe." —Irving Penn, 1975.

Irving Penn, New York, 1951

Irving Penn was born in 1917 and graduated from the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art in 1938. His career began with the publication of his drawings in Harper's Bazaar, but he became truly famous for his fashion photography in Vogue from 1943 onwards. His style was very calm and simple: he was one of the first photographers to pose his models against a grey or white backdrop. His models seemed as if isolated from the real world. Subjects portrayed in this manner included Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau, Ingmar Bergman, Simone de Beauvoir and Marcel Duchamp. This clarity and economy of technique earned him the admiration of not only the fashion lovers, but also art collectors. He died at the age of 92, leaving behind the numerous books featuring his work and documents of his working methods.

Marlene Dietrich, New York, 1948.

Girl in Bed on Telephone (Jean Patchett), New York, 1949

Girl Drinking (Mary Jane Russell), New York, 1949

Black and white Vogue cover, 1950

Mouth for L'Oreal, 1986

Kate Moss, 1996

Gisele, New York, April 1 1999

What is your favorite photograph by Irving Penn?

1 comment:

  1. wonderful post! Gisele is beautiful...amazing!

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