Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Arnold Newman dies at 88

Two images from this great photographer had a profound affect on me as I was

The first were his portraits of Igor Stavinksy as - at the time at least - I
found them so brave and graphic in their composition and 'disinterest' in
the idea of 'person' or 'face' in a portrait.

There is also an inherent loneliness in the images that appealed to me.

I also like how they play with issues of context and symbolism. We 'trust'
that he or she who is pictured does what he or she is pictured in context

The chequered floor image is particularly poignant (if a bit staged looking)
when looking at ideas of the symmetry between photographic process and
music. There is a sense of timing that can be broken up and/or expanded ad

Second to this was one of his portraits of Picasso. It was famously used by
both Apple and Ilford (or Agfa, not sure anymore) as a marketing image.

I had this photo often in mind when shooting my early portraits as the
qualities of light, shape and tone really appealed. It is the imperfection
of the image that I particularly like. There is a danger in the shadow that
reveals dark aspects of the man's character as opposed to the 'mad artist'
that is normally portrayed.

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