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Wednesday, 07 October 2009


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For me Irving Penn was the best photographer EVER ...PERIOD. I especially liked his photographs of tribesmen of New Guinea and of native Africans. He is a reason for all photographers to strive for perfection. May he rest in peace along with his fabulously beautiful (also deceased) wife.

Wow. An era has truly ended. I wrote in a TOP comment the other day about meeting the late Marty Forscher. Well, I had the great opportunity to meet Irving Penn as well, in 1993. He signed a copy of his MOMA monograph for me. I remember him saying "Balance art and commerce very carefully." He asked me a lot about my own work, showing keen interest. He was truly a great man.

Talk about a photographer who could do it all.

A true giant.

Irving Penn and Richard Avedon ARE my two greatest photographic influences. Sustained brilliance, throughout their long, illustrious careers.

I'm so glad i have their books. I'm now hoping for a massive Penn retrospective at the Met. Soon, please....

I never got to meet Mr. Penn, though he was always an inspiration to me. I was lucky to start my retouching career in 1977, and worked on his one of images of a B&W Minolta ad for Bozell & Jacobs. It's something I will always remember.

Another master passes. Damn, I love that man's work.

Just half an hour ago this morning on Radio four (UK) I heard an nice interview with a Mr. David Bailey. I think that he held Irving Penn in some esteem.

Mike, Another sad day in the history of photography. I started collecting Penn's work printed in Vogue back in the early 60's. I guess back then we all wanted to be fashion photographs. Some where in the 70's (my B&W lab was in my house) a knock at the door while we were eating dinner--in walks this beautiful woman dressed in fur from head to foot (it was winter) , holding a roll of film--we talked a bit and I said my most admired photographer was Penn-- That funny she said so is mine, I'm misses Penn. They had a Farm near where I lived on Long Island NY.
We used to talk a bit when I delivered her prints for her sculptures. Mostly about her experiences in the modeling world and a lot about Mr. Penn. I met Mr. Penn a few times, very quiet and soften spoken--at the time he was doing his platinum series so he was in his lab 24/3 on the week ends. Lots of fun personal tidbits about him, to numerous to get into. They were both beautiful people, Mrs Penn passed away years ago--But both will be missed in the photo & art community. He was one of the greatest photographers of the last century. My photo of Mrs. Penn on my site Pg 9, 2nd row 3rd in from left.

It's rather unfortunate and humbling that I know so little about photography that I only first learn of some of the greats from their epitaphs. I'm doing what I can to change that, but it's hard to keep up lately, it seems. Rest in peace, Mr. Penn.

There is a tribute to Penn at the Art Institute of Chicago, in the main building. They have a few big platinum-palladium prints up, as well as some of his workbooks on display. It's a really tiny exhibit, but really nice to go to. If you're in the area.

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