Irving Penn changed my life. His work captures the spirit of the thing he is photographing. And, clearly, turns me into a hyperbolic, blubbering stock-phrase-toting mess. Although, I’m not even sure that I’m being hyperbolic. I think he might actually be that good. His work is beyond iconic. He almost never worked on location, using instead his consistent studio backdrop to create intimate and vast imagery. I say vast as the range of emotion and feeling within his photos is immense, they are laden with knowing and with life. And not just the portraiture, the fashion photography too contains a lithe elegance, a knowingness that captures the spirit of the garments of the model and of the times. A triple threat, if you will.
I love the light in his images. There is something askew in them. Any photograph is made up more the photographer than the subject, and I feel that if I knew Irving, he’d be a bit off the wall. I’d defo want to go for a drink with him, but I imagine him to have a very beautiful, dark mind. It would be one hell of a night out!
Also, he was so bang on-trend with his fascination with all things tribal. Like, soooo on-trend. We love you Irving!