Xerjoff Magazine

Elliott Erwitt’s icons


On show in Pavia, a glimpse of 1900’s history of costume through the shots of Eliott Erwitt, great master of photography

Eliott Erwitt, one of the greatest masters of contemporary photography, is celebrated on the occasion of his ninetieth birthday with an exhibition at the Scuderie del Castello Visconteo di Pavia. The retrospective entitled “Elliott Erwitt. Icons” curated by Biba Giacchetti can be visited from October 13th to January 27th. It offers a glimpse of the history of the 20th century costume through Erwitt’s eye -capable of summarizing ironic, romantic and surreal features. Erwitt was born in France from a family of Russian emigrants, he spent his first years in Italy and then moved to the United States in 1939 where the meeting with famous photographers such as Edward Steichen, Robert Capa and Roy Stryker, deeply influenced his work. There are about 70 images displayed at the Scuderie, many of which are real icons, inscribed in the collective imagination. Among these are those that portray the quarrel between Nixon and Kruschiev, that of Jackie Kennedy during the funeral of her husband, the famous boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, and the engagement of Grace Kelly with Prince Ranieri of Monaco.

To these shots are added those equally famous dedicated to great personalities such as Che Guevara, Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe. Finally, the ironic side of Erwitt’s work is evidenced by various photographs of dogs, a theme that accompanies his entire professional career, as evidenced by the exhibition held until February 3rd at La casa dei Carraresi of Treviso entitled “I cani sono come gli umani, solo con più capelli”(“Eliott Erwitt: dogs are like humans, only with more hair”).

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Above: Elliott Erwitt, USA. California. 1956 © Elliott Erwitt/MAGNUM PHOTOS