Elliott Erwitt: Legendary photographer dies aged 95

Elliott Erwitt: Legendary photographer dies aged 95
Elliott Erwitt: Legendary photographer dies aged 95

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - NEW YORK — Celebrated photographer Elliott Erwitt, known for his candid and often funny black and white images, has died at 95.

He died "peacefully at home surrounded by family," Magnum, the collective of photographers that he had been part of since 1953, said in a statement.

Born in Paris, he lived in New York.

Erwitt captured major moments throughout his career — including an infamous spat in 1959 between then US Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.

In 2017, on the centenary of Russia's October Revolution, he spoke to the BBC about what it was like to witness two world leaders having a spat during the Cold War.

"They were grandstanding — they were playing for their audience," he said of the moment.

As well as political standoffs, Erwitt was known for capturing sorrow (Jacqueline Kennedy at her husband's funeral), animals (especially dogs) and significant cultural moments.

In 1960, aged 32, he took the promotional shots for Western classic The Misfits — a film starring none other than Marilyn Monroe, Montgomery Clift and Clark Gable.

The images, shot on location in the Nevada desert, show Monroe, Clift and Gable laughing and interacting with one another.

In an extended remembrance of his life, Magnum said Erwitt would be remembered for "seeking out the most absurd and charming moments of life".

"It was Erwitt's firm belief that photography should speak to the senses and emotions rather than intellect," the statement read.

Magnum added that it would "proudly protect the inspiring legacy that his image-making will keep on playing in the history of art and photography".

A collection of Erwitt's work is on show at La Sucrière in Lyon, France, until March 2024.

He was married and divorced four times, and is survived by his six children, 10 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. — BBC

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