Monday, January 19, 2009

Avedon's "The Family"

click image to enlarge

I was in DC two days after the election and went to an exhibit of Richard Avedon's work titled "Portraits of Power". One of the bodies of work on display was "The Family". Commissioned by Rolling Stone, it was a year long project to photograph the men and women Avedon understood to make up the political leadership of the United States in 1976.

This week the NY Times sunday magazine published a portrait series of Obama's team, inspired by Avedon's "The Family" series.

click image to enlarge

I was very moved by Avedon's "The Family". The images are strong and formal yet provide a rare intimate look directly into the eyes of some of the world's most powerful people. The subject matter provide much of the impact of the series, but Avedon's stunning aesthetic treatment takes it over the top. I think it stands out even more when compared to the Times "Obama's People" series. It looks so digital!! Why would they commission this series of historical magnitude, which they acknowledge was inspired by "The Family" and have an amazing photographer (Nadav Kander) who has a classic-not-so-digital aesthetic, and shoot this so digi looking? Maybe they're onto some cutting edge look? (or putting practical considerations ahead of aesthetic ones?) Maybe this look will represent our generation? I hope not.


***to all current and potential clients: I can put your practical needs first...I am not one of those difficult to work with artists! :-) :-) happy happy! Requests for digital have resulted in great work. www.petergraham.com >> Can YOU guess what's digital and what's film??

1 comment:

RR said...

love it Petey Pete - well said!