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Author Topic: Saul Leiter  (Read 3264 times)

OmerV

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Re: Saul Leiter
« Reply #20 on: March 11, 2018, 06:08:44 PM »

....his lack of reverence for the photographic establishment.

Rob
Well, considering he was a successful commercial photographer, it could be said Leiter was the establishment. Your meaning of "establishment" might be that of the control curators et al. seem to have by way of influencing what they consider to be art. But that is less the photography environment than it is the Art world. I've always liked that photography has largely been a journeyman or craftsman trade, practiced by folks who needed a way of making a living. Of course many of the "arts" have also existed within that realm. Yes, he preferred a quiet and private life, still, Leiter has been recognized by the photography establishment since the early 1950's without his objection.

Rob C

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Re: Saul Leiter
« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2018, 05:48:01 AM »

Well, considering he was a successful commercial photographer, it could be said Leiter was the establishment. Your meaning of "establishment" might be that of the control curators et al. seem to have by way of influencing what they consider to be art. But that is less the photography environment than it is the Art world. I've always liked that photography has largely been a journeyman or craftsman trade, practiced by folks who needed a way of making a living. Of course many of the "arts" have also existed within that realm. Yes, he preferred a quiet and private life, still, Leiter has been recognized by the photography establishment since the early 1950's without his objection.

I think you have perhaps rated his commercial - as paid assignment - success a little highly. He did work for a couple of fashion bibles for a while, twenty years for Harper's, I think, and did make it into Britain's brief Nova adventure, but after, and alongside, that?

I have read that he also worked for an unspecified nation's editions of Elle, but cannot find any images that spring clearly from that connection. According to himself, the struggle was ever to pay the light bills. I'm not aware he picked up much advertising work, and that's where the photographic money is/was, not in editorial, which magazines think is them doing you a favour. Avedon was reputedly given a million dollar contract by Vogue, which came over as a million a year, but elsewhere that becomes a million over twenty-five years... there's so much fibbing or just plain bad information out there.

But, as with so much, who really gets to know about another's life and bank balances? Who honestly cares that much?

Yet, had he really been a member of the "establishment" it seems strange that he virtually disappeared (at least from public gaze) after his '59 appearance in Popular Photography Annual. Avedon never did, and neither did most of the other high-flyers of those decades; the popular photographic press was always looking for names to lend importance to the publications... that said, Louis Faurer also vanished despite much fashion magazine success, the books all posthumous.

I rather suspect that some people really do not have the ability (or perhaps genuine desire) to make themselves popular fixtures, even if they do manage to scratch out a living in some famous publications. It strikes me that the doorway to finding fame in both the professional and pop culture worlds at the same time, comes about through the publication and marketing of books. Not really via magazines, for in a male dominated culture, few outsiders would have become famous due to their appearances in mainly female readership fashion mags.

Burt who really knows - if there was a guaranteed route, everybody would taking it.

Rob C

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Re: Saul Leiter
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2018, 08:10:53 AM »

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