T he Photographs Online sale include a number of artist portraits, offering an intimate glance in to the studios and minds of the world's leading creative forces. Here, Head of Sale, Jonas Tebib takes a look at some of the highlights offered in the sale, and explores the friendships and collaborations that led to their creation.
Frida Kahlo by Gisèle Freund
When Freund met in 1950 Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, what was meant to be a two-week trip in Mexico ended up being a two-year stay at the iconic couple’s home, Casa Azul, in the heart of Mexico City. The photographer documented their daily life in a serene manner, something that contrasted with the tormented depictions often seen of Kahlo in her own self-portraits.
Jean Cocteau by Gisèle Freund
After fleeing Nazi Germany to France in 1933, Gisèle Freund became known for taking portraits of artists such as Jean Cocteau. She started shooting in colour the year prior to taking this image. Her interest in this new variation of the medium was such that she also became known for curating color portrait exhibition at Adrienne Monnier’s bookshop, a predominant cultural centre in Paris at the time. Other portraits by Freund in the sale include Diego Rivera, Man Ray and André Breton.
Cecil Beaton by Irving Penn
This playful portrait of Cecil Beaton shot by Irving Penn in his studio instigates a mise en abyme, achieved through showing the artifice and working mechanisms of the machine, and the nude figure in the background. In an exchange of roles, Beaton also photographed Penn in his studio, demonstrating their mutual respect and interest in collaboration.
Andy Warhol by Weegee
This photographic manipulation belongs to a series of “distortions” from the late 1940s, considered by Weegee as his true art. Using methods such as melting copy negatives, he altered many famous faces such as his friend, Andy Warhol, questioning the concept of celebrity and identity.
"I am a perfectionist. When I take a picture...it's gotta be good"
Ilse Bing by Ilse Bing
Shot with a small Leica during the interwar period in Paris, the self-portraits of the German self-taught photographer Ilse Bing have become icons of modernist photography.
These works are accompanied in the sale by other images from the world's most important photographers, from 20th Century icons such as Brassaï and Cartier-Bresson to contemporary artists such as Hiroshi Sugimoto and Katy Grannan.