(5/55) Eve Arnold - photographer

A lot of the debates in photography, center on the use of photography as an art form and the ways in which photography can be used as a visual means of representation.
But what tends to get lost or considered in all this fuss, are the simpler ways in which photography continues to be used by photographers, as a fairly straight forward, expressive unmanipulated medium of choice.
In this regard, the work of Eve Arnold (1912 – 2012) is exemplary.

A photographer who discovered the medium in later life, her work characteristically displays a minimum of artifice. Indeed, it's only when viewing her work as a collection of photographs, that her personal style or viewpoint becomes evident.
Her work isn't plain. It's just not showy.

Whether by luck or design, she began her studies as a student on a six-week photographic course taught by (the now legendary) Alexey Brodovitch.
Her first work, photographing fashion in Harlem, was published in Britain's Picture Post magazine, after the work was rejected by US publishers.
The work lead to casual then full time admission to the ranks of the photo agency Magnum.

Her work included photographing film stars, migrant workers, civil-rights protesters, and many of the major public figures of the day, including taking iconic images of Malcolm X.
Perhaps her most familiar work were photographs of films stars, and in particular the series of photographs taken of Marilyn Monroe, mainly taken on the set of the film 'The Misfits'.

She was the first female member of Magnum. And a unique photographer, with an unobtrusive manner that allowed her to take many many unique images during her long active career.
I've always like her work. I think her photographs of people are some of the most iconic images we have of a wide range of public figures and remain in many cases definitive.


Bar Girl in a Brothel, Havana, Cuba, 1954

During civil rights strike in Virginia, a party to introduce blacks to whites. (1958)

Malcolm X in Chicago (1961)

Eve Arnold & Marilyn Monroe

Nevada. Marilyn Monroe during filming of  "The Misfits" (1960)

Marilyn Monroe resting between takes of "The Misfits" - being watched by her drama coach - Paula Strasberg

New York. Actress Marlene Dietrich (1952)

Oral Roberts, faith healer, (1956)

USSR. Moscow. Divorce. (1966)

Audition, Royal College of Music (1963)

USA. Texas. Sugarland. Prisoners. (1982)

All photographs copyright original copyright owners
All text copyright Nick Lloyd 2012

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