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ARTHUR ELGORT (born 1940)


Arthur Elgort was born in New York City in 1940 and attended Hunter College in Manhattan where he began studying painting. However, after finding it a lonely endeavor he took up photography. Early on, he was influenced by a lifelong love of music and dance, which is apparent in both his personal and professional work.

Early in his career he worked as a photo assistant to Gosta Peterson and was influenced by Peterson's natural shooting style, which contributed to the development of the casual and lively style that he is well known for today. His debut in British VOGUE in 1971 was immediately noticed and created a sensation in the fashion photography world. Elgort's work caught the eye of Condé Nast's Alexander Liberman and he soon began to shoot for American VOGUE. Elgort's iconic "snapshot" style and emphasis on movement and natural light liberated fashion photography and he quickly became one of the most well-known and emulated photographers in the world. His body of work in the 70’s and 80’s is often thought of as a definitive representation of the industry at that time.

He published the first of several books, Personal Fashion Photographs, in 1983 and later his worldwide best seller Models Manual during the supermodel boom in 1994, with several additional books following.  A retrospective book of his work, The Big Picture, was published by Steidl in 2014, and two additional books of his work will be released in 2019 and 2020.

In addition to his still photographs, Elgort is also recognized for his work as a filmmaker. He has made three films including Texas Tenor: The Illinois Jacquet Story and the documentary film Colorado Cowboy which follows legendary cowboy Bruce Ford and won the award for Best Cinematography at the Sundance Film Festival in 1994.

Arthur Elgort lives in New York and his work continues to appear in Condé Nast publications worldwide, in addition to advertising campaigns for clients such as Chanel, Valentino, and Yves St. Laurent.  Elgort's photographs have been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, The Getty Center in Los Angeles, The Detroit Institute of Arts in Michigan, and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, among others. 

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