Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Elliott Erwitt - A Natural Comic

I guess one of my first inspirations right back at college was Elliott Erwitt. He has such a sharp eye for finding the comedy in everyday situations and he captures it brilliantly. I have seen some of his photographs countless times and they never fail to bring a smile to my face.

Erwitt, E. 'New York City, 1974'.

Take for example, ‘New York City, 1974’. I love the way that it is composed in such a way that it takes more than a quick glance to notice the full joke. The first thing your eyes are drawn to is the tiny Chihuahua wearing that ridiculous beret and staring blankly into the lens. Then you are gradually drawn left to the boots of the owner that dwarf the Chihuahua.  It is only then that you notice the HUGE legs of the Great Dane.

Erwitt, E. 'Segregated Water Fountains, North Carolina 1950'.

I think what possibly inspires me the most is his ability to handle serious issues in the same manner. One of my favourite Erwitt images is ‘Segregated Water Fountains, North Carolina 1950’. It goes without saying that he is commenting on a very heavy and serious issue but he still manages to be successful through using his trademark style. What hits me the most in the photograph is that the two sinks are interconnected by a water pipe, which surely defies the object of segregation.

Erwitt, E. 'Florida Keys, 1968'.

Erwitt is clearly a natural comic. I have never seen anyone else with such a fantastic eye for humour in the everyday whilst also having the ability to create a picture that captures it in such an eloquent and telling way.

Truly inspiring. 

1 comment:

  1. The dog picture is brilliant and I really like the bird comparison. The middle image does look as if it stays very true to the style of the photographer despite the change in topic. Good work Scott, I never really thought about photography being that funny but I guess this is what you were hinting at in your first ever blog