The professional relationships between photographers Lisette Model, Diane Arbus, and Richard Avedon produced a new perspective on portrait photography in the 1960s. A signature motif that all three share is shooting their subjects in extreme close-up—untouched, unapologetic, and arguably voyeuristic. The International Center of Photography celebrates these three icons with an exhibit showing some of their best-known works. Model is most famous for her not-so-model sunbathers in Europe and Coney Island. Arbus, who studied under her, focused her lens both on social outcasts—dwarfs, transvestites, and prostitutes—and on everyday people in not-so-everyday situations. (Her famous image of identical twins from New Jersey inspired Stanley Kubrick in casting his gruesome twosome for The Shining.) Avedon, Arbus’s friend, made his reputation in the fashion world, taking portraiture to a different—if not more direct—level by snapping shots of his subjects amid a stark white background and catching them off-guard, unposed, and unfocused.
Tue., May 20, 10 p.m., 2008
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 13, 2008