ARNOLD NEWMAN (ARNOLD NEWMAN): CLASSIC PORTRAIT IN THE INTERIOR
Of course, a modern person, even very superficially familiar with photo art, cannot be surprised with a classic “photo portrait in the interior.” But, as you know, any classic was once a modern, like the genre of “environmental portraiture”, which originated in the name of Arnold Newman.
In the middle of the twentieth century, during the period when A. Newman lived and worked, this genre was an innovation. A photographic portrait of the twentieth century is a rather faceless set of standard poses and angles that depict people regardless of their lifestyle and personal qualities.
The artistic vision of A. Newman caught this flaw by suggesting ways to solve the problem, which later formed the basis of his work. The photographer decided to shoot in a different way, to make portraits so that the image becomes a mini-biography, psychological portrait, describing both personal qualities and the atmosphere of a person’s life. This idea was introduced by a photographer from a painting, where the technique has been used for a long time.
Over time, the pictures made in this manner became classics, and their creator A. Newman became a famous photographer. Author’s portraits of A.Nyuman famous figures of art and politics of the twentieth century: M. Dietrich, D. F. Kennedy, G. Truman, Mondrian, Picasso, A. Miller, M. Monroe, R. Reagan, O. Hepburn and many others, became one of the best works in the world of photography.
Composition and aesthetics
However, not only the development of a new genre marked the work of this artist. He did a lot for the development of aesthetics of photography. The works of Arnold Newman, along with the works of another meter by A. Cartier-Bresson, are considered to be the ideal composition. Indeed, each “background” detail of A. Newman’s photographs, its rhythm, lines, forms, colors, and nuances of the setting is a harmonious continuation of the person being portrayed, reflecting the atmosphere and his lifestyle.
Excellent illustrations of this thesis can be taken by the photographs of E. Warhol, I. Stravinsky, P. Picasso, S. Dali. Thus, the photo of Stravinsky, later recognized as a masterpiece, and at the time of creation, not taken by the customer magazine Harper’s Bazaar, the severity and abstractness of the lines immerses the viewer in an atmosphere of perfect classical music. While the scandalous portrait of the cruel “gun king” Alfred Krupp portrays in front of us a cynical devil in his own “kingdom”, in an industrial factory.
It is especially interesting to observe how the author emphasizes the connection with their work in the portraits of people of art. This connection is easy to catch by looking at the work of artists, sculptors and photographers whom Newman photographed:
Not only famous …
Creativity Arnold Newman was not limited to filming only portraits of celebrities. Among his photographs there are quite a few images of ordinary people (the “Americans” series). In these photos, he also adhered to his creative principles of portrait in the interior. His goal was to tell a little story that would excite, was remembered by the viewer, regardless of the person’s social status in the lens.
When removing portraits, the author did not try to talk about the objective world, he only expressed his vision, weaving with the help of expressive means of photography into a single whole person of the portrait, the surrounding atmosphere, his feelings and thoughts about what was happening.
Not betrayed much importance A. Newman and photographic equipment. After all, according to the master, photography is, first of all, the author’s statement about the world.
In his interviews, he repeatedly advised novice photographers not to inherit other people (including their ideas), but to develop their own author’s view, which is valuable in photography.
In addition to the portrait genre, Arnold Newman also shot abstract still lifes. In the archives of Newman, they appear as early works. For these still lifes, you can perfectly trace how the author developed a sense of composition.