Irving Penn was an American photographer known for both his commercial and fine art images. In dramatic black and white, he captured portraits, still lifes, and nudes with a high degree of technical precision and compositional balance. He was known for finding beauty outside of the fashion industry’s standards throughout his career—regularly photographing street debris, animal skulls, and aging artists in addition to his better-known images of celebrities and icons. - artnet.com
Penn died in 2009; his work is still widely exhibited around the world, and is held in major collections including the Art Institute of Chicago; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; National Portrait Gallery, London; National Gallery of Art, Washington and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, amongst others. In 2013 The Irving Penn Foundation donated 100 images to the Smithsonian American Art Museum, bringing the number of works in their collection to 161. - hamiltonsgallery.com
Irving Penn (June 16, 1917 – October 7, 2009) was an American photographer known for his fashion photography, portraits, and still lifes. Penn's career included work at Vogue magazine, and independent advertising work for clients including Issey Miyake and Clinique. His work has been exhibited internationally and continues to inform the art of photography.
What I really try to do is photograph people at rest, in a state of serenity.
Over the years I must have spent thousands of hours silently brushing on the liquid coatings, preparing each sheet in anticipation of reaching the perfect print.
I can get obsessed by anything if I look at it long enough. That's the curse of being a photographer.
Using simple equipment and daylight alone is for me a pleasure and a replenishment.
Photographing a cake can be art.
A beautiful print is a thing in itself, not just a halfway house on the way to the page.
A good photograph is one that communicate a fact, touches the heart, leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it. It is, in a word, effective.
I myself have always stood in the awe of the camera. I recognize it for the instrument it is, part Stradivarius, part scalpel.