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    Richard Avedon: Changing The Future Through Art Essay

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    Bright lights, flashes going off, beautiful and famous people everywhere, creative set designs, and everyone working to make the photo shoot perfect. This was the life of famous Richard Avedon. Avedon is one of the most successful photographers of the 20th Century. He is known for his fashion, advertising, exhibitions and book photographs that he has done.

    Richard Avedon was born in 1923, in New York City. Avedon attended DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx. He never completed his high school career, and in 1942 Avedon joined the U.S. Merchant Marine Photographic Department. When he returned he joined the Design Laboratory taught at The New School by famous art teacher Alexey Brodovitch. Through this class he started to become well known for his stylistically fashion work that often took place in exotic and vivid locations. Avedon was married in 1944 to Dorcas Nowell, a model known professionally as Doe Avedon. They divorced after five years. In 1951, he married Evelyn Franklin. The pair later separated. In 1945 his photography career began.

    He began his career in fashion photography in 1945 with Harper’s Bazaar, switching to Vogue magazine in 1966. A retrospective exhibition of his work was mounted in 1978 at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Richard Avedon was the first staff photographer in the history of The New Yorker in 1992. Avedon’s work was a very unique and new way of photography. He was widely recognized for his fashion work. Avedon took pictures of very famous, and political figures including Marilyn Monroe, Truman Capote, Charlie Chaplin, Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Marian Anderson, Willem de Kooning, and many others. Avedon doesn’t tend to use props in his shoots, he likes to set his subjects against a bright white background.

    Richard Avedon likes the viewer to have absolute focus on the subject in the photograph. From my point of view I would say the Richard Avedon’s style is very simple and gets straight to the point. When he is describing his own work he says, “Sometimes I think all my pictures are just pictures of me. My concern is…the human predicament; only what I consider the human predicament may simply be my own.” His pictures reflect the way his life was, simple and not to extravagant. The public also agrees partially with him.

    The public is very critical of Richard Avedon’s many pieces of art. Many didn’t like his use of stark black and white photos. The reviews of the showing of Richard Avedon portraits at The Metropolitan Museum of Art are very optimistic views and everyone is enjoying the wonderful displays of art. Avedon has been a photographer for a very long time and has had mix reviews all the time. Some think he is an absolute genius, others don’t. The work of his “American West” shoot brought up a lot of controversy. He photographed people who didn’t have the perfect physics, and who were usually not as fortunate as others. Some people in the West thought that the shoot was showing something that wasn’t true about the West.

    They thought that people were going to get the wrong ideas, and portray western people wrongly. On the other hand other people thought the shoot was brilliant and gave people a chance to look at underprivileged people and see how their lives our. I think that “American West” was an awesome thing for Richard Avedon to do, because it shows people that aren’t only rich, famous, skinny, and people with the “perfect” physic can be photographed, it shows that everyone has a chance and that “perfect” isn’t always the best. I would have to say that this shoot is my favorite, especially the picture of the oil field worker. It shows that there are beautiful people located everywhere.

    In Richard Avedon’s years he has certainly made a name for himself. He is a true artist through his bleak black and white photos that are merely unique and astonishing. Avedon did something different and people appreciate his work very much. With losing him from a brain hemorrhage on October 1, 2004 he will be missed, and was named “the world’s most famous photographer,” by The New York Times. Richard Avedon’s work has touched and inspired many people, and will never be forgotten for his amazing works of art.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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