An unprecedented look at an eccentric and seductive profession and the men and women who practice it on the treacherous shifting sands of pop and fashion culture, Focus depicts--perhaps most importantly--the rewards and cost, both terribly high, of translating an artist's vision of beauty for an often cold and cruel commercial reality. That is not to say the reader was bad, just that listening to this may not be the best way to absorb it. My only critique is that I would have loved to read about more of the contemporary photographers and art directors that are very active now, working in the digital era and having transitioned from the anal This is a very well researched and written book. Instead, he suggested a book on the modeling industry, which no one had ever done before. Even when they succumbed to temptation and excess--and did they ever--the very few photographers who rose to the top were artists, above all.
I must admit that I grew tired after a while, although I liked the few photographs the book contains. I also learned that there are a lot of drugs and sexism and shitty behavior in fashion. Gross provides a rollicking account of fashion photography's golden age-- the wild genius, ego, passion, and antics of the men and a few women behind the camera, from the postwar covers of Vogue to the triumph of the digital image. This is the cover information of the book I read: Here is the editorial information, and the dedicatory. Having worked as a fashion photographer's agent for over thirty years, I can confirm that a lot Gross's factual reporting is as accurate as can be. I really recommend this book for art, magazine and photography lovers. I did learn more than a few things, such as the fact the movie Funny Face was based on real people, I.
To continuously cross the chasm between creativity and commerce is a high wire few can walk time and again, and still keep it fresh. But it was over lunch with his agent when fashion called him back, and the idea to look at life on the other side of the camera came into focus. It's a great read, which I devoured quickly! Hard-core know the greatest illusionists have lived lives as sharp and extreme as their works. As a feminist I also cringe when I read abo Great reference, including interviews with key people in the business. Gross Model: The Ugly Business of Beautiful Women opens this paradoxically unfocused book with an interesting exegesis on the grandfathers of fashion photography, Richard Avedon and Irving Penn. And not all fashion photographers are creepes - I hope! First, I have to admit I came to this book purely out of interest in photography.
And what will come in its place remains to be seen. Very useful, probably the best - only? Locations Call Number: On Shelf At: Downtown Library Location Call Number Branch Item Status Downtown 2nd Floor 770. Maybe if I knew more about the fashion world and all the names involved it would have been easier to follow, but I'm not so sure that would have helped. Great reference, including interviews with key people in the business. Gross got his boxes out of storage, and began to go through them, discovering a wealth of information that had not yet previously been published.
It doesn't seem to be boring or interesting enough for a trip of any length, and my library or my couch don't look appealing enough either. Very useful, probably the best - only? But the biggest misstep is that Gross is so focused on gossip he misses an opportunity to say something really meaningful about the changing aesthetics of f then and now. The world of fashion magazines and photography is not what it once was. My biggest issue with the book is its structuring, or lack there of. Their segue from portraiture and penury into successful careers as fashion photographers is a study in upward mobility in America. It also seemed to be talking about key photographers during those periods, but just like with the chronology, it jumped back and forth from figure to figure to the point of becoming tedious.
As the photographers get more and more power, they start to make more and more demands on their wanna-be models that are more and more abusive. Gross makes hay of that. The key theme of the book is how decadent the industry is. My only critique is that I would have loved to read about more of the contemporary photographers and art directors that are very active now, working in the digital era and having transitioned from the analog one. Focus probes the lives, hang-ups, and artistic triumphs of more than a dozen of fashion photography's greatest visionaries; Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Melvin Sokolsky, Bert Stern, David Bailey, Bill King, Deborah Turbeville, Helmut Newton, Gilles Bensimon, Bruce Weber, Steven Meisel, Corinne Day, Bob and Terry Richardson, and more.
In this rollicking account of fashion photography's golden age, the New York Times bestselling author of Model and House of Outrageous Fortune, Michael Gross, brings to life the wild genius, ego, passion, and antics of the men and a few women behind the camera. Focus is an enthralling and riveting read. They were not just ghosts but flesh and blood, with conflicts, angst, competitiveness, and ambition. It's a great read, which I devoured quickly! If you want to take a look be by guest, but I can't seem to come up with a good place to be reading this. Tracing the highs and lows of fashion photography from the late 1940s to today, Gross vividly chronicles the fierce rivalries between photographers, fashion editors, and publishers like Condé Nast and Hearst, weaving together candid interviews, never-before-told insider anecdotes and insights born of his three decades of front-row and backstage reporting on modern fashion. From the postwar covers of Vogue to the triumph of the digital image, the fashion photographer sold not only clothes but ideals of beauty and visions of perfect lives.
They were possessed by a need to be a part of an industry that fed off genius, passion, ego, and excess. Overall I think the book would have benefitted from much tighter editing to create a better structure to the story. At the very heart of this lay the photographers, the bright, vibrant minds that could orchestrate visions of glamour and beauty with the express purpose of selling a product to the viewer. When I read that it included information on some really important photographers I thought it would be interesting to learn about their roles I went into this thinking it was a long shot that I would be really into it. Well, today models are activists too, and are hopefully able to stand up for themselves. Using the rivalry between magazines as the narrative spine, Gross has deftly woven an intricate web of fashion, photography, and magazine publishing that is simply unrivaled. A small part of her wishes she had a proper library, like in the game of Clue.