Deciding to clean up the kitchen and make myself a cup of coffee to get me ready for my usual Friday night in, I switched on the tele and found myself lured into an episode of BBC Prime People. The subject, Eve Arnold, an American photojournalist. I’ve seen her photographs, as the world over has, but I had never attributed them to anyone. And now I can.
I was taken on a journey – her journey – a recollection of her life as a journalist. The photos were amazing and I’m searching for more of her work on the web as I write. While watching and learning, I recalled an exhibition of previously unseen photos of Marilyn Monroe that Ali and I had stumbled upon of hers (then unknown to us) displayed at the Halcyon Gallery in London in May 2005.
Curled up on my couch in the cool twilight of my livingroom, watching her being interviewed and taking the audience through her travels, photos and experiences around the world over the past sixty years, only encouraged me to appreciate the photos more. Again supporting my fascination in learning about the artist as I learn about the art. Two peas in a pod it seems to me.
In my quest to learn more about art as well as share my newfound knowledge with others, I found Eve Arnold more than worth remembering, as well as revisiting. After virtually no formal training, aside from a six week course, she went on to become the first female photographer to work for Magnum Photos and she also used many techniques that although are standard now, were new and innovative in her time.
“A sharp social critic of McCarthyism, apartheid, poverty and a mirror of glamour, Eve Arnold photographed historical events and Hollywood stars.” [source: BBC Radio Four interview]
Photos courtesy of Magnum Photos.