American, born 1928
With a touch of humor and irony, as well as an eye for the humane, the photographs of Elliott Erwitt reveal the most elemental and universal candid human emotions. Erwitt developed his photographic eye during the post-war rise of documentary photojournalism, and has poignantly captured many of life’s paradoxes through his brand of unique humor and vernacular.
Erwitt pursued an illustrious photographic career in journalism, fashion, and print advertising, and his work has been published in countless monographs. His early career included being appointed as an accredited Whitehouse photographer, where he took some of his well-known images of Nixon, and later of Jacqueline Kennedy at John F. Kennedy’s funeral in 1963, as well as key iconic figures of the century such as Muhammad Ali, Marilyn Monroe, and Fidel Castro among others. But he is best known for the benevolent and satirical observations seen in his personal work, which he has continued to produce conjointly with his commercial practice. Elliott likes to point out that, children and dogs (with their owners) are his favorite to photograph, and some of his key iconic works attest to that.
Elliott Erwitt was born in Paris in 1928 to Russian émigrés who fled the Revolution. Moving with his family from Paris to Italy to Hollywood to New York, Erwitt came to photography early in life. His personal work has been published in numerous monographs, among them Personal Exposures (1988), Between the Sexes (1994), To the Dogs (1992), Snaps (2001), You & Me (2004), Unseen (2007), Elliott Erwitt’s Dogs (2008), Elliott Erwitt’s New York (2008), Elliott Erwitt’s Rome (2009), Elliott Erwitt’s Kolor (2013), and Home Around the World (2016), among many others. He has been a member of the prestigious Magnum agency since 1953, and has served three terms as president of the organization. His photographs have been collected and exhibited at museums around the world including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC; the Art Institute of Chicago; The International Center of Photography, New York; Museum of Modern Art, Paris; and The Kunsthaus Zürich, among others.