Quote of the Week #7 : Richard Avedon

Curators’ Corner

Quote of the Week #7 : Richard Avedon

“A portrait is not a likeness. The moment an emotion or fact is transformed into a photograph it is no longer a fact but an opinion. There is no such thing as inaccuracy in a photograph. All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth. ”

– Richard Avedon

Born is 1923, Richard Avedon took an interest in photography quite young, with his parents’ Kodak Brownie is hand. After high school he managed to work for the Merchant Marines shooting ID portraits during WWII. After that he found his way into the New School for Social Research where he studied photography under Alexey Brodovitch, art director of Harper’s Bazaar. There he found his in. Alexey hired him as a staff photographer for the magazine and Richard’s career as a fashion photographer was soon launched.

He stayed at Bazaar for 20 years before moving on to Vogue where he calcified his influence on fashion photography for over 20 years, until Anna Wintour took over at editor-in-chief.

All the while Richard managed to maintain a significant presence in the art scene with much of his non-fashion work, which largely consisted of portraiture. Indeed, much of his work as staff photographer of The New Yorker (a tenure which began in 1992) consisted of portraits of various figures of note.

He passed away at the age of 81 while on assignment for The New Yorker.