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Elliot Erwitt Snaps Paperback – June 1, 2003
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'An essential career-spanning retrospective that reveals Erwitt's unassuming wit, brilliant framing and deep humanity.'
'Rare among photographers, Erwitt can make you laugh out loud (just turn to pages 86-87), but his scope is Tolstoyan. This 550-page retrospective will absorb you for years.'
About the Author
Charles Flowers is an author, opinion columnist, and theater and art critic. He has been publishing in the "New York Times", "The Virginia Quarterly Review", and "City Newspaper".
Elliott Erwitt is one of the most prestigious photographers in the world. A street photographer legend, he is best known for his black and white candid shots of ironic and absurd situations within everyday settings - a master of Henri Cartier-Bresson's "decisive moment."
Flowers is a freelance editor and writer. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Vanderbilt University, and he received his M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Oregon.
More About the Author
Robert Capa invited Erwitt to join Magnum Photos in 1953. A member of the prestigious agency ever since, Erwitt has functioned as its president for three terms beginning in 1968. In teh 1970s, Erwitt tried his hand at filmmaking. His documentaries have included: BEAUTY KNOWS NO PAIN (1971), RED WHITE AND BLUEGRASS (1973), which was made with the assistance of an American Film Institute grant, and the prize winning GLASS MAKERS OF HERAT (1977). Erwitt has also produced seventeen comedy and satire specials for Home Box Office. Erwitt has been creating books, essays, illustrations, and ads regularly featured in publications around the world for more than forty years.
Throughout his illustrious career, Eritt has captured everyone from Marilyn Monroe to Ronald Reagan on camera. And his historically grounded black-and-white prints are now legendary and have been exhibited in some of the most prestigious museums and galleries around the world including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Smithsonian Institution, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, Zurich's Kunsthaus and Cologne's Photokina. At present, Elliott Erwitt is editing his archive and still working for various advertising and magazine clients.
Based in New York City, Elliott Erwitt likes to travel obsessively. He also likes children and dogs.
Top Customer Reviews
The book's format is distinctly vertical, and yet maybe half of its images are horizontal. For the vertical images, this book is great. But for the horizontal images, this book is a disaster: they are shrunk to fit the page width, and because they then take up less than half the book's page height, they are either stacked one on top of the other, to great distraction, or they are presented alone, at the top of the page, with an ocean of blank paper sitting below them.
Another reviewer has noted the poor performance of the book's spine to accommodate those occasional "full-size" horizontal images that split across the gutter. This is the bane of photo books. Publishers, please stop. Publish images flat, one per page, un-crowded, un-distracted. Given that Erwitt seems to not favor horizontal nor vertical, a square page design is called for.
At the top of this review, I noted how nice it was to have so many of Erwitt's images in one book. Yes, but let me also note that there are, in this rare case, too many. There is a lot of redundancy of similar images, with the second- and third-best of various sets displayed with equal weight as the obvious superior image. It pains me to say that, because usually I am complaining about the stingy number of images we're allowed to see.
And the text? Forget about it. Just drivel. Why are photo books so poorly written?
Nevertheless, all said and complaints duly lodged, I truly love Erwitt's view of the world. And it isn't just that his pictures are funny.Read more ›
An earlier reviewer pointed out that there are too many images in this book, and that is usually my gripe with most photo books too. However in this book it never feels boring. I doubt anyone would flip trough all 550 pages in one sitting and still get to study each photo closely. Instead, I consider it more of a catalog of Erwitts phenomenal eye for details and situations. Most of the pictures are situations where most of us would walk on by without even dreaming of there being anything photo-worthy.
I mean, a perched seagull looking at a plane is the cover photo!
Happens every day, but Erwitt captures it and points out to us all, and forces us to ask what the seagull is thinking when he sees a tin can full of humans flying by.
Said reviewer also points out that the prosaic texts are somewhat less than pulitzer-worthy. I agree wholeheartedly with that.
However the pictures in the book really need no captions. They ask questions, they don't tell!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a young girl in the 60's, I collected Life magazines and fell in love with the humanity of photographs for the rest of my life. Read morePublished 8 months ago by d