Thursday, November 14, 2013

Elliott Erwitt (b. 26 July 1928 Paris, France) is a documentary photographer



Elliott Erwitt (b. 26 July 1928 Paris, France) is an advertising and documentary photographer known for his black and white candid shots of ironic and absurd situations within everyday settings— a master of Henri Cartier-Bresson's "decisive moment".


Early life

In 1939, at the age of ten, Erwitt's family, of Russian origin, immigrated to the United States. Erwitt studied photography and filmmaking at Los Angeles City College and the New School for Social Research, finishing his education in 1950.


Photography career

Born in Paris of Jewish-Russian immigrant parents, Erwitt served as a photographer's assistant in the 1950s in the United States Army while stationed in France and Germany. Erwitt was influenced by his meeting the famous photographers, Edward Steichen, Robert Capa and Roy Stryker. Stryker, the former Director of the Farm Security Administration's photography department, hired Erwitt to work on a photography project for the Standard Oil Company. Erwitt then began a freelance photographer career and produced work for Collier's, Look, Life and Holiday. Joining theMagnum Photos agency in 1953 allowed Erwitt to shoot photography projects around the world.
One of the subjects Erwitt has frequently photographed in his career is dogs: they have been the subject of four of his books, Son of Bitch (1974), Dog Dogs (1998), Woof (2005) and Elliott Erwitt's Dogs (2008).
More recently, Erwitt has created an alter ego, the beret-wearing and pretentious André S. Solidor (which abbreviates to "ass") — "a contemporary artist, from one of the French colonies in the Caribbean, I forget which one", in order to "satirise the kooky excesses of contemporary photography". The work of said alter-ego was published in a book, The Art of André S. Solidor (2009), and exhibited in 2011 at the Paul Smith Gallery in London.
He was awarded The Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship (HonFRPS) in recognition of a sustained, significant contribution to the art of photography in 2002.


Filmmaking career


Since the 1970s, he has devoted much of his energy toward movies. His feature films, television commercials, and documentary films include "Arthur Penn: the Director" (1970), Beauty Knows No Pain (1971), Red, White and Bluegrass (1973) and the prize-winning Glassmakers of Herat, Afghanistan (1977). He was, as well, credited as Camera Operator for "Gimme Shelter" (1970), Still Photographer for Bob Dylan: No Direction Home (2005), and provided Addition Photography for "Get Yer Ya Ya's Out (2009). 
A collection of Erwitt's films were screened in 2011 as part of the DocNYC Festival's special event "An Evening with Elliott Erwitt". Erwitt was himself profiled in a documentary film, which appeared in the same festival, titled "Elliott Erwitt: I Bark at Dogs" - directed by Douglas Sloan (filmmaker).







































































































































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