The Phoenix Art Museum continues their great series of loan exchange with the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson with a new showing of Richard Avedon’s work. Avedon, perhaps one of the most recognizable names in photography, captured portraits of the famous from Henry Kissinger to Marilyn Monroe. He never stopped working, even up until his death at age 81 he was on an assignment for the New Yorker magazine. Constantly re-inventing himself and his subjects. One of his most famous images “Dovima with Elephants” shown here. The PAM’s exhibit opens January 12th and runs until April 20th.

Essence of Avedon: Photographer’s evocative works offer insight into his subjects, himself By Richard Nilsen for he Arizona Republic

When he was just 23, Avedon began taking photographs for Harper’s Bazaar magazine and turned fashion photography on its ear.

“For the first time, you saw fashion photography taken into the streets,” says Dennita Sewell, curator of fashion design at the Phoenix Art Museum, whose collection includes several of the gowns Avedon photographed in his first work.

“Before that, women posed properly in front of a chandelier in a beautiful hotel, or in a studio with perfect hair, but Avedon gave the pictures a bit of adventure.

“He captured this excitement, that if only you were in Paris, if only you were in that suit, if only you ran across these scenes, fabulous things would happen to you, too.”

Suzy Parker, Dovima and other models leaped over the sidewalks in the Marais district or stood in evening gown in front of elephants. It was all new, all energy, all somewhat outrageous.

“Mixing that beautiful satin with the wrinkled skin of the elephants was so striking, so unusual for the time,” Sewell says.