Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Footloose and Fancy Free
There's a retrospective of the work of American photographer Richard Avedon on exhibit at the Jeu de Paume and it's not to be missed. The exhibit includes work from several periods in Avedon's career, including his images of working class folks in the American West and portraits of political and economic movers and shakers of the 1970s, done for Rolling Stone. I was most captivated though by the fashion photographs he took in Paris in the years immediately following the Second World War. I know next to nothing about fashion; what captivated me was the incredible use of lighting and setting to show off the geometry and shape of each model's gown. My favorite of all, which regrettably was not available as a postcard for purchase, is this shot of Suzy Parker and Robin Tattersall roller skating joyfully through Place de la Concorde. I love the way their bodies mirror each other and fill up the space except for the image of the Hôtel de Crillon and Hôtel de la Marine on the bottom edge. And just how did he get that shot anyway?
Incidentally, if anyone knows what happened to the fountains and statuary in the place during the war years, I'd be interested to learn more. They're curiously absent here.