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  And, indeed, I will ask on my own account here, an idle question: which is better—cheap happiness or exalted sufferings? Well, which is better?---Fyodor Dostoevsky ---Notes from Underground There are certain people of whom it is difficult to say anything which will at once throw them into relief—in other words, describe them graphically in their typical characteristics. These are they who are generally known as “commonplace people,” and this class comprises, of course, the immense majority of mankind. Authors, as a rule, attempt to select and portray types rarely met with in their entirety, but these types are nevertheless more real than real life itself. For instance, when the whole essence of an ordinary person’s nature lies in his perpetual and unchangeable commonplaceness; and when in spite of all his endeavours to do something out of the common, this person ends, eventually, by remaining in his unbroken line of routine—. I think such an individual really does become a type of hi


Born in Paris in 1928 to Russian parents, 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 photography 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

Often considered a master of style, Elliott Erwitt's photography is best known for the candor and humor that shines through his black-and-white pictures. Elliott Erwitt began dabbling in photography as a teenager living in Los Angeles, shooting weddings. Later, Elliott Erwitt shot photos for the Army in France and Germany; later living in New York, he met fellow war photographer Robert Capa, who invited him to join the Magnum Photos agency. Elliott Erwitt is responsible for making some of the most prominent portraits of the 20th century, capturing Marilyn Monroe, Richard Nixon and Marlon Brando, among others. Elliott Erwitt's joyful photos with dogs — particularly images of them jumping — has become another calling card of his; his first dog collection, Son of Bitch, was published in 1974.Elliott Erwitt started working more with film in the '70s and '80s, making documentaries following fascinating subjects such as glassmaking practices in Afghanistan (Glassmakers of Herat, 1977) and an all-female marching and dancing team (Beauty Knows No Pain, 1971). In 2011, the International Center of Photography awarded Elliott Erwitt the Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement. 
Elliott Erwitt immigrated to New York City with his family just before World War II broke out. When his parents separated, Elliott Erwitt joined his father in a move to Los Angeles. By 16, his father had left Elliott Erwitt alone and moved to New Orleans, and Elliott Erwitt started teaching himself photography. He later enrolled to study at Los Angeles City College and later picked up filmmaking classes at the New School for Social Research (now The New School) in exchange for janitorial work. Elliott Erwitt produced his first significant photo essay, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1950, thanks to his friend and contemporary Roy Stryker. After joining Magnum, Elliott Erwitt's pictures started to include more commercial as well as personal pieces. 
Elliott Erwitt shot as a freelance photographer for illustrated magazines like Look, Life, Collier's and more after joining Magnum Photos in 1953, and went on to serve as the agency's president for three years in the 1960s. Among his various documentary projects, Elliott Erwitt also produced 18 comedy films for Home Box Office in the '80s. Notorious for being economical when shooting film, Elliott Erwitt told Time magazine: ""[Photography is] like fishing. Sometimes you catch one. You lay in wait for something to happen — sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't."" From the 1990s through the 2000s, Elliott Erwitt published three more dog photography books: Elliottt Erwitt: To the Dogs (1992), Dog Dogs (1998) and Elliott Erwitt's Dogs (2008).
One of Elliott Erwitt's most iconic photographs is one he casually shot of his first wife, their 6-day-old daughter and cat on the bed in their Upper East Side Manhattan apartment. The soft summer window light dapples the mussed sheets, highlighting in silver the adoring mother's cheek and baby bare bottom; the photograph appeared in the Museum of Modern Art's Family of Man exhibition and book. Although he still travels extensively today, the artist is based in New York City. Elliott Erwitt's photos are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Art, among others.

"It's about reacting to what you see, hopefully without preconception. You can find pictures anywhere. It's simply a matter of noticing things and organizing them. You just have to care about what's around you and have a concern with humanity and the human comedy.

Provence, France, 1955

The lady and the city | by Elliott Erwitt NYC c1955

SPAIN. 1951 Barcelona

New York City1969

Paris, 1970

Rome, 1959

Moscow, 1968

Moscow, 1968

Moscow, 1968

USA. 1974. New York.

USA. 1955. California.

New York, 1974

USA. 1950. Pennsylvania.

New York, Marilyn Monroe, 1956

North Carolina, 1950

UNITED KINGDOM. 1991. Birmingham.

FRANCE. 1989. Paris

USA. 1946. New York City. New York

               Che Guevara in Havana, Cuba, 1964.

USA. 1963. Arlington, Virginia. Jacqueline Kennedy at John F. Kennedy's funeral.


MEXICO. 1957. Guanajuato

GREAT BRITAIN. 1995. London. British Museum

West Germany, Sylt1968


Museo Del Prado, Madrid1995

East Hampton, New York, 1998 

Photographer Elliott Erwitt on His Lifetime Achievements >>>

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