“All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.” –Richard Avedon
This is a portrait by Richard Avedon titled “Ezra Pound, Poet, Rutherford, New Jersey”, taken on June 30, 1958. Avedon was a brilliant American photographer, famous for his ability to use minimalism in his portraits while appearing very intimate with his subjects and their flaws to capture their “essence”. Avedon worked with Vogue, but combined commercial/fashion photography with fine arts, creating stunning photos that could sell while still being artistically appealing.
I find this photo interesting because the subject, Ezra, is so striking, even without any detail of the surroundings. Ezra seems to just have his eyes closed, but with his wrinkles, it is hard to determine whether he is experiencing pain, disgust, shame, or any other intense emotion. I find myself wanting to know more about the subject and am not sure why such a simple photo engages me so deeply.