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Alfred Eisenstaedt
Alfred Eisenstaedt

Alfred Eisenstaedt

Country: Germany
Birth: 1898 | Death: 1995

Alfred Eisenstaedt (December 6, 1898 – August 24, 1995) was a German-born American photographer and photojournalist. He is best known for his photograph of the V-J Day celebration and for his candid photographs, frequently made using a 35mm Leica camera. Eisenstaedt was born in Dirschau (Tczew) in West Prussia, Imperial Germany in 1898. His family moved to Berlin in 1906. Eisenstaedt was fascinated by photography from his youth and began taking pictures at age 14 when he was given his first camera, an Eastman Kodak Folding Camera with roll film. Eisenstaedt served in the German Army's artillery during World War I, and was wounded in 1918.

While working as a belt and button salesman in the 1920s in Weimar Germany, Eisenstaedt began taking photographs as a freelancer for the Pacific and Atlantic Photos' Berlin office in 1928. The office was taken over by Associated Press in 1931. Eisenstaedt successfully became a full-time photographer in 1929. Four years later he photographed a meeting between Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in Italy. Other notable, early pictures by Eisenstaedt include his depiction of a waiter at the ice rink of the Grand Hotel in St. Moritz in 1932 and Joseph Goebbels at the League of Nations in Geneva in 1933. Although initially friendly, Goebbels scowled for the photograph when he learned that Eisenstaedt was Jewish.

Because of oppression in Hitler's Nazi Germany, Eisenstaedt emigrated to the United States in 1935 where he lived in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, for the rest of his life. He worked as a staff photographer for Life magazine from 1936 to 1972. His photos of news events and celebrities, such as Dagmar, Sophia Loren and Ernest Hemingway, appeared on 90 Life covers. Eisenstaedt was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1989 by President George Bush in a ceremony on the White House lawn. Eisenstaedt, known as "Eisie" to his close friends, enjoyed his annual August vacations on the island of Martha's Vineyard for 50 years. During these summers, he would conduct photographic experiments, working with different lenses, filters, and prisms in natural light. Eisenstaedt was fond of Martha's Vineyard's photogenic lighthouses, and was the focus of lighthouse fundraisers organized by Vineyard Environmental Research, Institute (VERI).

Two years before his death, Eisenstaedt photographed President Bill Clinton with wife, Hillary, and daughter, Chelsea. The photograph session took place at the Granary Gallery in West Tisbury on Martha's Vineyard, and was documented by this photograph published in People magazine on September 13, 1993. Eisenstaedt died in his bed at midnight at his beloved Menemsha Inn cottage known as the "Pilot House" at age 96, in the company of his sister-in-law, Lucille Kaye (LuLu), and friend, William E. Marks.

Source: Wikipedia


Born in Dirschau (now Poland), Alfred Eisenstaedt studied at the University of Berlin and served in the German army during World War I. After the war, while employed as a button and belt salesman in Berlin, he taught himself photography and worked as a freelance photojournalist. In 1929, he received his first assignment that would launch his professional career--the Nobel Prize ceremony in Stockholm. From 1929 to 1935 he was a full-time photojournalist for the Pacific and Atlantic Picture Agency, later part of the Associated Press, and contributed to the Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung and other picture magazines in Berlin and Paris. In 1935, he came to the United States, where he freelanced for Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Town and Country, and other publications. In 1936, Henry Luce hired him, along with Margaret Bourke-White, Peter Stackpole, and Thomas McAvoy as one of four staff photographers for the new LIFE magazine. Eisenstaedt remained at LIFE for the next 40 years and was active as a photojournalist into his eighties. In 1988, he was honored with ICP's Infinity Master of Photography Award.

Eisenstaedt was among those Europeans who pioneered the use of the 35-millimeter camera in photojournalism as they brought their knowledge to American publications after World War I. He was also among the earliest devotees of available-light photography. Unlike many photojournalists in the postwar period, he was not associated with a particular kind of event or geographic area: he was a generalist. As such, he was a favorite among editors, not only for his quick eye, but also for his ability in making good photographs of any situation or event. His nonjudgmental but acutely perceptive eye and his facility with composition have made his photographs memorable documents of his era both historically and aesthetically.

Source: ICP

 

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He visited "extremely serious, very heavy S&M bars" and the abandoned West Side Hudson River piers where men cruised for sex. In 1975, Hujar published Portraits in Life and Death, with an introduction by Sontag. After a tepid reception, the book became a classic in American photography. The rest of the 1970s was a period of prolific work. In early 1981, Hujar met the writer, filmmaker, and artist David Wojnarowicz, and after a brief period as Hujar's lover, Wojnarowicz became a protégé linked to Hujar for the remainder of the photographer's life. Hujar remained instrumental in all phases of Wojnarowicz's emergence as an important young artist. Hujar's work received only marginal public recognition during his lifetime. In January 1987, Hujar was diagnosed with AIDS. He died 10 months later at the age of 53 on November 25 at Cabrini Medical Center in New York. His funeral was held at Church of St. Joseph in Greenwich Village and he was buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Valhalla, New York. Hujar willed his estate to his friend Stephen Koch. Source: Wikipedia Peter Hujar (born 1934) died of AIDS in 1987, leaving behind a complex and profound body of photographs. Hujar was a leading figure in the group of artists, musicians, writers, and performers at the forefront of the cultural scene in downtown New York in the 1970s and early 80s, and he was enormously admired for his completely uncompromising attitude towards work and life. He was a consummate technician, and his portraits of people, animals, and landscapes, with their exquisite black-and-white tonalities, were extremely influential. Highly emotional yet stripped of excess, Hujar’s photographs are always beautiful, although rarely in a conventional way. His extraordinary first book, Portraits in Life and Death, with an introduction by Susan Sontag, was published in 1976, but his “difficult” personality and refusal to pander to the marketplace ensured that it was one of the last publications during his lifetime.Source: The Peter Hujar Archive Peter Hujar, who died of aids-related pneumonia in 1987, at the age of fifty-three, was among the greatest of all American photographers and has had, by far, the most confusing reputation. A dazzling retrospective, curated by Joel Smith at the Morgan Library & Museum, of a hundred and sixty-four pictures affirms Hujar’s excellence while, if anything, complicating his history. The works range across the genres of portraiture, nudes, cityscape, and still-life—the stillest of all from the catacombs of Palermo, Italy, shot in 1963, when he was there with his lover at the time, the artist Paul Thek. The finest are portraits, not only of people. Some memorialize the existence of cows, sheep, and—one of my favorites—an individual goose, with an eagerly confiding mien. The quality of Hujar’s hand-done prints, tending to sumptuous blacks and simmering grays, transfixes. He was a darkroom master, maintaining technical standards for which he got scant credit except among certain cognoscenti. He never hatched a signature look to rival those of more celebrated elders who influenced him, such as Richard Avedon and Diane Arbus, or those of Robert Mapplethorpe and Nan Goldin, younger peers who learned from him. His pictures share, in place of a style, an unfailing rigor that can only be experienced, not described. Hujar needed no introduction to the low. He never met his father, who abandoned his mother, a diner waitress, before his birth, in 1934, in Trenton. She left his raising to her Ukrainian-speaking Polish parents in semirural surroundings in Ewing Township, New Jersey, until, when he was eleven, she took him to live with her and a new husband in a one-room apartment in Manhattan. The home wasn’t happy. Hujar moved out at sixteen, at first sleeping on the couch of a mentoring English teacher at the School of Industrial Arts (now the High School of Art and Design): the fine poet, editor, and translator Daisy Aldan, a free-spirited lesbian who is portrayed in the earliest of his works in the Morgan show, from 1955.Source: The New Yorker
Mitch Dobrowner
United States
Aleksander Rodchenko
Russia
1891 | † 1956
Born in St Petersburg on November 23rd, 1891, Aleksander Rodtchenko was one of the most eclectic artists to emerge from the Russian Revolution. Sculptor, painter, photographer and graphic designer, he is the founder of the "Russian Constructivist" movement and was also very influential in Photography and Russian Design. In 1907, after his father's death, his family moved to Kazan. In 1910, he began studies at the Kazan Art School, where he met his future wife Varvara Stepanova. In 1914, he moved to Moscow where he pursued briefly his artistic studies at the Stroganov Institute. In 1915, using a compass and a ruler, he created his first geometric black and white drawings. In 1916, introduced to Tatline by architect Viktor Vesnine, Aleksander Rodtchenko will exhibit his drawings at the "The Store" exhibition alongside painters Lioubov Popova, Alexander Exter and Ivan Klioune. Alexander Rodtchenko's work was influenced by innovative Cubist and Futuristic artists. In 1917, he applied his Futurism research on everyday life objects and designed lamps for the "Pittoresque Café", newspaper stands, buildings etc... It is at that time that he founded the left wing "Painter Syndicat". Following the Russian Revolution, as most avant-gardist Russian artists, he will become a member of several official schools (Proletkoult, Vkhoutemas), where he will become a teacher. In 1919, he will present his "black on black" paintings to answer Malevitch's "White on White" series. It is also at that time that he started experimenting with collages and photomontages. In 1921, he took part in various exhibitions, one called "5x5=25", where he presented a Monochrome triptych. Each canvas presenting a primary color: Red, yellow and blue. At the end of the exhibition, he signed the "Productivist Manifest" to abandon easel painting to focus on everyday life objects. The same year, in March, the "Constructivist" movement was created within the Inkhouk Institute. Initiated by artists, critics and theoricians its aim was to conduct "concrete experiments in the real world". From 1922 onwards he started producing graphic designs for movie, books and political billboards. In 1923, he started collaborating with various editors and till 1925, he illustrated the cover of Constructivist magazine LEF. Influenced by German Dadaist photomontages, Rodtchenko began experimenting with photographs in 1923. His first photomontage illustrated Mayakovsky's poem "About this". From 1924 onwards, his focus was on photography. He started experimenting on new compositions and techniques. His work emphasized the subject's position and movement in space combined with a diagonal framing. He also produced many portraits. In 1925, he was responsible for the Soviet Pavilion at the "International Industrial and Modern Art fair" held in Paris. In 1933, he was commissioned by Russian magazine SSSR na Stroïké, to photograph the construction of the Baltic Sea Canal.From 1934 to 1939 Rodtchenko and Stepanova, produced several photo albums: "Fifteen years of Soviet Cinema, Soviet Aviation, Ten years of Ouzbekistan". During the second world war, as other artists, he fled Moscow and took refuge in the Perm region where he will produce patriotic billboards.
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