Sunday, October 11, 2009

IRVING PENN 1917~2009

An ode to a great photographer who passed away this Thursday. During my foundation studies in art school, I was greatly influenced and inspired by 3 photographers, whose work instantly captivated and inspired me. Horst, for his exquisite use of light and shadow; Man Ray for his most original style and composition and Irving Penn, who was able to masterfully capture his subjects candidly, perhaps even drawing you into their world, their story.

Thank you Irving Penn , for the inspiration.

Born in New Jersey in 1917, Irving Penn studied design at the Philadelphia Museum School, where he became a student of Alexey Brodovitch. In 1937, the year before he graduated, several of his drawings were published by Harper’s Bazaar. From 1940 to 1941, he worked for the art and advertising director of Saks Fifth Avenue, and the following year he spent in Mexico painting, a medium he subsequently abandoned. Returning to New York, Penn was hired by Vogue magazine, first to create ideas for cover illustrations, then to photograph covers as well as editorial illustrations for the interior of the magazine. Working closely with Alexander Liberman, Penn developed a highly stylized, graphically compelling form of fashion photography which did much to define post-war notions of feminine chic and glamour. In his fashion and portrait photography, Penn favored the use of a neutral backdrop of gray or white seamless paper, or alternatively, the use of constructed architectural sets which created striking effects with oblique, diving diagonals and upward tipped perspectives. Penn also created numerous still life compositions for the magazine: carefully orchestrated assemblages of food or objects characterized by a play of three-dimensional and two-dimensional forms. In 1953 Penn opened his own commercial studio and almost immediately became one of the most influential and successful advertising photographers in the world.
another living legend, Nick Knight. 
(These photographs were borrowed from various sites and will not be used for commercial purposes.)

PH •


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