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Karsh Portraits Hardcover – 1976
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Iconic. Period. The image in your head of Hemingway? Came from this photographer. Einstein? Oppenheimer? JFK? Ditto.
This is a whirlwind tour of the 20th century. Picasso, Krushchev, MLK, Helen Heller, Castro, Shaw, Steinbeck, Joan Baez, Apollo astronauts, Henry Moore, Churchill, Chagal, Albert Schweitzer and on and on.
Photographs of great clarity, portraits brimming over with personality, works that embrace the legendary nature of the subjects while exposing wrinkles and imperfections. For every portrait that delivers what one expects (Castro, staring straight at the camera, a little threatening, a little wry) there are incredibly unnerving works (Sibelius with his eyes closed? Prince Charles in some sort of safari jacket with a shiny ring on his finger looking like a fey, condescending sportsman? Kruschev in furs...smothered in furs?)
As has often been remarked, Karsh's attention to the surface details: the silvers, the textures, the play of light reveals a great craftsman at work.
ANYWAY...this University of Toronto edition is a quality piece of work: large format on heavy paper, almost four pounds, red cloth over hardback boards with a sewn binding, dustcover, 202 pages. And Karsh's commentary on the making of each portrait is included as well.
Valuable insight into how greata photographers think, and how great people interact