Description

It’s perhaps unsurprising that Elliot Erwitt, with his laconic eye for multiple meaning, has been captivated by the enigma of ‘couples’ for his entire career. “The subject is of great interest to me, having been half of one myself now and again—blissfully sometimes, sometimes not so,” says Erwitt. “I’ve taken many pictures on that subject in the natural course of my favourite pastime…photography.” Here, a newly wed couple share a kiss in the back of their car in New York, 1955.

I like to take pictures that are worthy of the time spent and the subjects.

Elliott Erwitt
© Elliott Erwitt | Magnum Photos

Born in Paris in 1928 to Russian parents, Elliott Erwitt spent his childhood in Milan, then emigrated to the US, via France, with his family in 1939. As a teenager living in Hollywood, he developed an interest in photography and worked in a commercial darkroom before experimenting with at Los Angeles City College.

In 1948, he moved to New York and exchanged janitorial work for film classes at the New School for Social Research. Five years later, Erwitt joined Magnum Photos and worked as a freelance photographer for Collier’s, Look, LIFE, Holiday and other luminaries in that golden period for illustrated magazines.

He has made significant bodies of work in America, Cuba, the UK, France, Italy and beyond. In the 1970s, he produced several notable documentaries and in the 1980s eighteen comedy films for HBO.

Erwitt has become known for benevolent irony, and for a humanistic sensibility traditional to the spirit of Magnum.

© Elliott Erwitt | Magnum Photos

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