I'm happy to have seen the Elliott Erwitt retrospective ( Personal Best ) today. It is currently on view here in NYC at ICP, International Center of Photography, now until 28 August 2011. It showcases the more than 60 year career of the photographer and filmmaker. Elliott Erwitt is the recipient of the 2011 ICP Infinity Awards Lifetime Achievement awards.
EE is distinguished as both a documentary and commercial photography. EE has made many memorable photographs of the twentieth century, including portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Jacqueline Kennedy as well as amazing scenes of everyday life. His photographic wit and special sense of humor sets him apart. Most notably are his images of dog interactions and the one infamous photograph of a French father and son bicycling along a country lane, with 2 french baguettes tied to the back of the bicycle. Taken from the rear view, the little boy's head is turned toward the camera acknowledging the moment.
Also on view is a personal favorite New Orleans 1949. It does not have the classic Erwitt humor, instead it holds its own with graphic tones and shadows - a formal composition of a couple entering their tenement apartment. It is a black and white print as is most of the exhibition.
You need not be a lover of street photography to appreciate his craft but an enthusiast of great imagery goes a long way.
His publications are numerous including :
Son of a Bitch, 1979. Photographs of dogs
Dog of Dogs, 1998. A collection of black and white photographs of dogs encountered throughout his travels.
Elliott Erwitt's Handbook, 2002.
Between the Sexes, 1994.