Posts Tagged ‘LIFE magazine’

Artist of the moment……Photographer Gordon Parks

Gordon Parks was an African-American photographer born in  the year 1912 in Fort Scott, Kansas. Parks was renown for his work dealing with the overwhelming at times racism he felt in relocating to Washington D.C.  In addition to photography Parks was also a film maker, film director, film writer, and composer.

price range information: Works range from $2,000 to $123,000l.

Gordon Parks’s story is one of just being in the right place at the right time. When he was 25 he bought his first camera. The person who developed the film rolls could see he has an eye for the right shot. The person sent the photos to fashion company located in Minnesota. Eventually the photos came across a celebrity in the wife of American boxer Joe Louis. She encouraged to take a job in Chicago and relocate.

In 1942 he worked with the Farm Security Administration as a lead photographer located in Washington D.C.

Over his career shot many magazine covers for LIFE magazine. Parks also worked for other fashion magazines including Vogue. Parks was respected for his ability to shoot the model whilst they were in motion rather than just pose them.

In 1968 he won an Emmy Award for a documentary on an African- American family living in Harlem, New York. Gordon Parks also directed the hit movie from 1971 titled SHAFT.

Parks was given the National Medal of the Arts by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.

In this clip Gordon Parks talks about his first photography job:

Below a brief bio of the artist and montage of his work:

Another short montage of works by Gordon Parks:


Artist of the moment……Philippe Halsman

Philippe Halsman was a wonderful photographer born in Rigi of the old Russian Empire in 1906. His father was a dentist and his mother a school principle.

A fun clip here involves Phillipe Halsman playing with shapes of Dali’s mustache.

In 1928 he went hiking with his dad in the Alps of Austria. His father ended up dying and he was charged with killing his dad. Halsman spent four years in prison and upon his release in 1931 could no longer stay in the country. Halsman moved to France.

When he first moved to France built a reputation of shooting portraits whilst working for Vogue magazine. Halsman was very successful as a commercial photographer appearing in LIFE magazine.

Made some interesting collaborative work with Salvador Dali in the 1940s.

A short detailed biography of Phillipe Halsman.

Halsman shot many celebrities of the day including Marilyn Monroe, Milton Berle, Richard Nixon, and Bob Hope.  Halsman also photographed the royal family of England and other political celebrities Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy.

Another well renown series of Halsman is that which asks people to jump. The artist loved doing this as it brought the real people out. To quote Halman ,” When you ask a person to jump, his attention is directed towards the art of jumping and the mask falls so that the real person appears.”

Phillipe Halsman passed away in 1979 at the age of 73 years of  age.

Price range information: Works range from $700 to $100,000.

We will close with a great montage of shots from the Jump series of Halsman. As he stated, its easy to see the real personality come out!