lunedì 12 gennaio 2015


Arnold Newman (1918 – 2006)
Arnold Abner Newman was an American photographer, noted for his environmental portraits of artists and politicians. He was also known for his carefully composed abstract still life images. Arnold Newman found his vision in the empathy he felt for artists and their work. Although he photographed many personalities, Marlene Dietrich, John F. Kennedy, Harry S. Truman, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Arthur Miller, Marilyn Monroe, Ronald Reagan, Mickey Mantle, and Audrey Hepburn he maintained that even if the subject is not known, or is already forgotten, the photograph itself must still excite and interest the viewer.
Newman is often credited with being the first photographer to use so-called environmental portraiture, in which the photographer places the subject in a carefully controlled setting to capture the essence of the individual’s life and work. Newman normally captured his subjects in their most familiar surroundings with representative visual elements showing their professions and personalities. A musician for instance might be photographed in their recording studio or on stage, a Senator or other politician in their office or a representative building. Using a large-format camera and tripod, he worked to record every detail of a scene.
“I didn’t just want to make a photograph with some things in the background,” Newman told American Photo magazine in an interview. “The surroundings had to add to the composition and the understanding of the person. No matter who the subject was, it had to be an interesting photograph. Just to simply do a portrait of a famous person doesn’t mean a thing.”
Newman’s best-known images were in black and white, although he often photographed in color. His black and white portrait of Igor Stravinsky seated at a grand piano became his signature image, even though it was rejected by the magazine that gave the assignment to Newman. He was one of the few photographers allowed to make a portrait of the famously camera-shy Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Arnold Newman è stato un fotografo statunitense, famoso per i ritratti di artisti e politici. Nato a Manhattan, è cresciuto tra Atlantic City, il New Jersey e la Florida. Dopo aver studiato arte all’Università di Miami, ha lavorato come assistente del fotografo ritrattista Leon Perskie. È morto nel 2006 a New York.

Considerato un maestro del ritratto ambientale, un tipo di ritratto che contestualizza il soggetto nell’ambiente che lo circonda, Newman ha immortalato tra gli altri Marilyn Monroe, Igor Stravinsky e John F. Kennedy. Le sue foto saranno in mostra fino al 13 gennaio al 
The Hague museum of photography  dell’Aja, nei Paesi Bassi.

All images ©Arnold Newman /Getty Images

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