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Portrait of Philippe Halsman

Philippe Halsman

Philippe Halsman (May 2, 1906 - June 25, 1979) was a Latvian-American photographer best known for his portraiture of celebrities.

he was born on May 2, 1906 in Riga into a Jewish family and studied engineering in Dresden. In 1928 he was publicly accused of patricide; His father, who was named Morduch, fell and died during a picnic in the Austrian Alps, however, the people around him did not hesitate to accuse him of having committed murder, influenced by his Jewish origin and existing anti-Semitism and for lack of other reasons. evidence. He would be brought to trial and sentenced to four years in prison, and had it not been for pressure from a prominent group of intellectuals, including Sigmund Freud, Thomas Mann, and Albert Einstein, he would have spent more than the two years behind bars than was. He later settled in Paris where he worked as a freelance fashion photographer and contributed to Vogue magazine. In 1940, when World War II began and before the imminent arrival of the German army, he marched to the United States with the help of Albert Einstein, where he would achieve world fame, making more than a hundred covers for Life magazine. In 1947 he obtained American citizenship.</ P>

If Halsman was characterized by something, it was his ingenuity, materialized above all through the "jumping style" or "jumpology" technique, to which he gave rise . It was about portraying the person jumping, in order to get a much more real, truer image of them, without any artifice, without the brain being able to control the expression of the face. «In a jump, the mask falls off. The real person becomes visible," Halsman explained. The result was an image of the person very different from how he used to appear, and therefore with great appeal to the public, these "jumping images" were published in 1949, achieving great success. Not all were jumps, but his photographs always showed funny situations, and some, something provocative. </ P>

From thinkers such as Albert Einstein, to politicians such as Richard Nixon, including artists such as Marlon Brando, Audrey Hepburn, Alfred Hitchcock, Frank Sinatra or Cary Grant and his beloved friend Salvador Dalí, with whom he worked together for many years on fantastic and surreal compositions. The photographs that he took in 1952 of Marilyn Monroe in a pose in which she appeared "cornered in a corner" reached great diffusion. </ P>

In addition to his series of jumps, among his more original work is a "photo interview" with French comedian Fernandel. Since Halsman did not speak French and neither did Fernandel English, it occurred to Halsman that the comedian would answer a battery of questions about the United States by means of facial expression. The result of the experiment was a light-hearted book called The Frenchman.

(Source Wikipedia)

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