Saturday Night Live in Elaine’s Kitchen by Jonathan Becker
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- Artwork Info
- About the Artist
Gelatin silver print
Signed, titled, and dated, in ink, with artist blindstamp, au recto
Signed, titled, and dated, in pencil, with artist stamp, in ink, au verso
Printed circa 1980
Jonathan Becker's trajectory is incomparable with that of any other fashion photographer of our time. The native New Yorker apprenticed under Brassaï in Paris in the 1970s, snapping party photographs for Womenswear Daily’s party bureau at the age of 20, before returning to New York to start a new post as portrait photographer for Interview Magazine. While working at the esteemed publication, he famously moonlighted as a taxi driver, giving rides to the likes of Diana Vreeland and Andy Warhol, and seemingly meeting all of the most notable characters 1980s New York had to offer in the process. “Andy would always come sit shotgun because he was afraid of taxi drivers,” he once said in an interview. He was so cheap, never tipped.”
Most impressive of all, though, is Becker’s 30-year tenure at Vanity Fair, where his flair for portraiture grew prolific and unignorable. Actors, artists, socialites and politicians have been immortalised by his all-seeing lens, taking him from Buckingham Palace to the Amazon jungle on assignments, and he has published countless books chronicling his many varied adventures both for this and many other publications. He is omniscient, photographing Valentino on his yacht in St Tropez, Manolo Blahnik leaning against a marble sculpture-topped plinth at London’s Sir John Soanes Museum, Robert Mapplethorpe entertaining visitors to his Whitney exhibition in the final year of his life. He photographs are the very definition of unexpected – capturing some unseen angle or aspect of his subject, crystallising them in his admiring and unflinching gaze.
Source: AnOther Magazine