Personal Best: first photo exhibition of the famous photographer Elliott Erwitt in Venice

From 30 March 2012 to 15 July 2012

After Paris, Madrid and New York the extraordinary photos of Elliott Erwitt will be on display in an exhibition in Venice.

Considered one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century and a member of the historic Magnum agency, Erwitt introduces his first photo exhibition in Venice, Personal Best, housed in the historical Case dei Tre Oci at the Giudecca, from 30th March until 15th July 2012.

140 photos will be on show in Venice, chosen personally by Erwitt amongst more than 6 thousand significant photos from his personal records. From Jacqueilne Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe, Che Guevara and Richard Nixon to Barack Obama: these are only a few of the celebrities that are depicted in the Erwitts photos shown in the Venice exhibition.

Born in Paris in 1928, Erwitt moved to live in the United States in 1939. Erwitt was always interested in photography and in the 50s he became a member of Magnum, the historical agency founded by famous photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa.

The exhibition in Venice will start with the photo that Erwitt is most attached to: taken at the beginning of the 50s in Pittsburg, the photo represents a young black boy pointing a silver gun to his temple whilst he is happily smiling, as if it was a game.

The first photo exhibition of the Venice Foundation, the exhibition on Erwitt talent is curated by Denis Curti who has tried to mirror in the exhibition the style of this famous photographer: Erwitt wants the photos to be the only element that entertains the spectator.

Erwitts photos describe the human comedy, symbolized in disparate situations and the subjects vary from simple portraits of American families to famous people, all, except one are, in black and white which immortalizes Barack and Michelle Obama at the end of the political campaign.

At the Venice exhibition the photos are arranged in themes on the three storeys of the building: there will be a room for the portraits, with a wonderful photo of Marilyn and another one that depicts couples from all walks of life, a room for the jumping dog and one for the museums, with the famous photo of the Madrid Prado with Goyas Maya Desnuda. Erwitts photos are just like him: essential, brief, ironical and sometimes irreverent.

The photos of the last advertising campaign of Jacob Cohn are also part of the Venice exhibition, born from a project developed by Erwitt in collaboration with the creative director of the brand, in which some photos took by Erwitt were used in the 80s and 90s, revisited to propose a daily life full of humour, irony and poetry.

Erwitts photos are to be looked at by letting oneself be transported only by the imagination, leaving out the contest and the reality in an objective way. The fundamental mark of Erwitts photos are the naturalness: only the moment counts, real or masterly built to appear realistic. His photos open a frozen universe in bizarre poses and also hide the perfection that can be generated out of chance. Erwitt only needs one photo to say everything: sequences of snapshots are very rare amongst his photos as only once is needed to capture the exact moment to be photographed.

Erwitts photos on show in Venice mostly represent people, but also animals, especially dogs, gathered from Erwitts sharp and empathic gaze in a series of true portraits. Times: Mondays-Sundays 10am-7pm

By Insidecom Editorial Staff