Photo club to examine works by Richard Avedon

The Bainbridge Island Photo Club will screen a documentary examining the career of famed American photographer Richard Avedon at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 27 at Waterfront Park Community Center (370 Brien Avenue SE).

Admission is free; all are welcome.

The film is part of the PBS series “American Masters,” an Emmy-winning documentary series that has presented hundreds of hours of profiles of outstanding American cultural artists. Past subjects have included Charlie Chaplin, Helen Hayes, pop icon Andy Warhol, singer Billie Holliday and composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein.

Avedon was a fashion and portrait photographer. An obituary published in The New York Times in the wake of his 2004 death said “his fashion and portrait photographs helped define America’s image of style, beauty and culture for the last half-century.” He was best known for his work in the fashion world and for his minimalist, large-scale character-revealing portraits.

He worked first as a photographer for the Merchant Marines, taking identification photos. He then moved to fashion, shooting for Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, demanding that his models convey emotion and movement, a departure from the norm of motionless fashion photography.

From www.biography.com: “One of the greatest photographers of the 20th century … Avedon expanded the genre of photography with his surreal and provocative fashion photography as well as portraits that bared the souls of some of the most important and opaque figures in the world.

“Avedon was such a predominant cultural force that he inspired the classic 1957 film ‘Funny Face,’ in which Fred Astaire’s character is based on Avedon’s life. While much has been and continues to be written about Avedon, he always believed that the story of his life was best told through his photographs. Avedon said, ‘Sometimes I think all my pictures are just pictures of me. My concern is … the human predicament; only what I consider the human predicament may simply be my own.’

The film is about 90 minutes long, and the club will supply popcorn and drinks.

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