American photographer Eve Arnold, whose love of photography stretches back over seventy year’s passed away in London this week, leaving behind a legacy of iconic imagery and pioneering spirit. The Guardian’s Art and Design have a put out a fetching tribute to the legendary photojournalist:
“The longevity of Eve Arnold‘s career as a photographer matched the heterogeneity of her work. Despite the success of her portraits of the rich and famous, Arnold, who has died aged 99, was equally well known for photographing “the poor, the old and the underdog”. She said: “It’s the hardest thing in the world to take the mundane and try to show how special it is.
In fact she achieved the reverse, showing us the often pathetic and banal in the lives of the glitterati she always shot without the benefit of artificial lights, as well as how ordinary daily lives, from Afghanistan to Zululand, were never mundane. As the war photographer and Magnum co-founder Robert Capa put it: “[Arnold's work] falls metaphorically between Marlene Dietrich’s legs and the bitter lives of migratory potato pickers.”
Arnold was the first woman to join the Magnum photographic agency, and much of her work fell within its tradition of in-depth editorial photography. She held characteristically trenchant views on the minority — and at times marginalised — status of female photojournalists, while being acutely aware of the role played by female stars as well as by unrecorded women the world over. The whole of the Magnum agency went on location to shoot John Huston’s filming of The Misfits (1961), but it was Arnold’s intimate portraits of Marilyn Monroe, fragile and poised…”