Jean Cocteau, Paris by Berenice Abbott

Jean Cocteau, Paris
1927
Portraiture
Gelatin silver print
Collection of The New York Public Library, New York, New York, USA

Abbott portrays the French Surrealist artist, poet, filmmaker, and writer, Jean Cocteau, posed sitting in bed with a blank expression, mirroring the expression of the paper mâché doll head he cradles. Cocteau and doll are craped in a white sheet, a neutral colour to play off the striped wallpaper of the background. The portrait echoes the contradictory pairings of objects and humans often found in the work of René Magritte

Berenice Abbott

Berenice Abbott
Straight Photography, Dada and Surrealist Photography, Modern Photography
Born: 17 July 1898, Ohio, USA
Nationality: American
Died: 9 December 1991, Maine, USA

Abbott was a photographer particularly known for portraits and documentary photographs which stressed the communicative and educational value of the photographic print. She followed a realist vision in her photographs recording history and her own experience to potentially inspire change in her audience., purposely facilitating interaction between photographer, photograph, and the viewer. Her realistic approach to photography originated in her career as a portrait photographer in Paris and the photographic realism of Eugène Atget. Following eight years working in Paris, Abbot moved to New York in 1929 and began to document the modern transformation of the city

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