We have all seen the Jun Ropé commercials featuring a very dramatic Lauren Hutton, an insecure but beautiful Jean Shrimpton, an emotional yet curious Anjelica Huston, and the legendary Veruschka crossdressing before turning in out as the stunning woman she is in front of the creator of them all, Richard Avedon. In a new exhibition, Visionaire, in collaboration with the Richard Avedon Foundation, is combining the most iconic and famous moving images with an array of completely unseen footage from the great master’s archive. Richard Avedon, Moving Image opens September 8 at Cadillac House, NYC.
While the hashtag in front of #mycalvins might be new, the term “my calvins” actually stems from a 1981 commercial featuring a then 15-year-old Brooke Shields hunched over, hair cascading down to her knees, dressed in dark brown cowboy boots, a khaki button up, and a pair of Calvin Klein jeans. She whistles before she softly declares that nothing comes between her and her Calvins (“You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing!”). Not only is the whole thing concepted, shot and directed by Richard Avedon, it’s also a testament to the timelessness of the American creator, who’s photos adorned most of the Vogue covers from 1973 when he was made lead photographer (he was on staff from the time Diana Vreeland joined in 1962) until Anna Wintour took the reigns of the publication in 1988.
The photographer had a wildly successful career: he photographed everyone from The Beatles to Hillary Clinton, Dwight D. Eisenhower to Andy Warhol, Marilyn Monroe to patients of mental hospitals, the Civil Rights Movement in 1963, protesters of the Vietnam War, and later the fall of the Berlin Wall. An obituary in The New York Times stated that “his fashion and portrait photographs helped define America’s image of style, beauty and culture for the last half-century”. Annie Leibowitz counts him as a major influence and we dare state that no one, who wants to be a photographer, hasn’t spent hours studying his unprecedented body of work. We certainly have.
Richard Avedon, Moving Image is free and open to the public September 8 through October 7, 2016 at The Gallery at Cadillac House, 330 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013.