NEW YORK — Famed fashion photographer Richard Avedon died today in San Antonio, Tex., after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage last Saturday. He was 81.
Avedon was stricken while on assignment for The New Yorker. He was shooting photos for a piece called ``On Democracy'' to run before the November presidential election, a spokesman for the magazine said.
Richard Avedon, one of the most celebrated photographers of the 20th Century, has died at the age of 81.
Avedon helped create the era of supermodels with sensuous photographs of fashion icons such as Naomi Campbell and Cindy Crawford.
And his portrait work, often stark, unflattering black-and-white images of the stars, was regarded as setting a new level in photographic art.
Avedon died in Texas where he was working for the New Yorker magazine.
He worked first for Harper's Bazaar and later for Vogue, producing pictures that were ground-breaking and credited with redefining the concept of fashion photography, moving from rigid poses to more candid, less formal representations. "He's the most wonderful man in the business because he realises that models are not just coat hangers," model Suzy Parker said of him.
Avedon also developed a towering reputation for portrait work. His austere images of subjects such as Brigitte Bardot, Charlie Chaplin, and Marilyn Monroe, were intense studies that set the benchmark for artistic photography. "No to exquisite light, not to apparent compositions, not to the seduction of poses or narratives. And those no's force me to a yes," said Avedon of his technique in 1994.
He captured the essence of dancer Rudolph Nureyev by simply photographing one of his feet.
"The results can be pitiless," Time magazine critic Richard Lacayo once noted of the black-and-white portraits which highlighted "every wrinkle and sag".
Although his work could be unflattering, at times brutally honest, there was never a shortage of subjects willing to be photographed by a man regarded as among the very best in the business. The 1957 film Funny Face about a fashion photographer and starring Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn, was loosely based on his life. But he also sometimes left the glitzy world of fashion to capture gritty images of the civil rights movement in the US and the anti-Vietnam war movement.
Avedon was born in New York City in 1923, of Russian-Jewish immigrant parents
He died after suffering a brain haemorrhage while on assignment for the New Yorker magazine in San Antonio, Texas.
This August, 1955 photograph of the model Dovima with elephants, provided by The New Yorker magazine, was taken by famed portrait photographer Richard Avedon who died on October 1, 2004 at the age of 81 in Texas. One of the most celebrated U.S. fashion and portrait photographers, Avedon was the first staff photographer ever hired for The New Yorker, a magazine that until editor Tina Brown took over in the 1990s traditionally did not run photographs. NO SALES NO ARCHIVES REUTERS/Richard Avedon/Handout
Fashion photographer Richard Avedon talks to actress Audrey Hepburn, during a photo session in Los Angeles, on April 24, 1956. Richard Avedon, the revolutionary photographer who redefined fashion photography as an art form while achieving critical acclaim through his stark black-and-white portraits of the powerful and celebrated, died Friday, Oct. 1, 2004 in New York. He was 81.(AP Photo, File)