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Richard Avedon: Changing The Future Through Art

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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



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