Art Kane (born Arthur Kanofsky; April 9, 1925 – February 3, 1995) was an American fashion and music photographer active from the 1950s through the early 1990s. He created many portraits of contemporary musicians, including Bob Dylan, Jefferson Airplane, Sonny and Cher, Aretha Franklin, Frank Zappa, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, the Rolling Stones, and The Who.

Art Kane
Kane in 1974
Arthur Kanofsky

(1925-04-09)April 9, 1925
DiedFebruary 3, 1995(1995-02-03) (aged 69)
Years active1950s–1995
Notable workA Great Day in Harlem
ChildrenJonathan Kane, Nikolas, Anthony

Kane was born in New York City to Russian Jewish parents.[1] Wanting to become an illustrator, he attended the Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture before joining the U.S. Army during the Second World War.[2] He served in an unusual Army deception unit known as the Ghost Army, an incubator for many young artists.[3] At age 26, he became the art director for Seventeen magazine, one of the youngest art directors of a major publication. He began to explore his passion for photography, eventually studying under the legendary Alexey Brodovitch, who "taught a generation of photographers [...] that the creative process should be a full exploration about what was unique in one's own vision".[4] In 1958, he received an assignment from Esquire magazine that launched his career as a photographer, when 57 jazz musicians assembled in Harlem, New York for a group portrait.[5][6][7] Later known as A Great Day in Harlem, the resulting image has been described as "the most iconic photograph in jazz history",[8] and was the subject of Jean Bach's 1994 documentary film of the same name.[9][10]

His work was provocative, experimental, and playful, sometimes rejected by magazines for nudity or irreverence. Kane said of his approach to portraiture: "If you want to shoot a performer then grab them, own them, you have to own people, then twist them into what you want to say about them."[11] In the book The Nikon Image, he was quoted in as saying: "I've always considered myself an illustrator, a literate photographer interested in producing images that reflect the essence of an idea. [...] I want to interpret the human scene rather than simply record it."[12]

In the book De Lorean: Stainless Steel Illusion, Kane is credited for the photograph of John DeLorean with the DeLorean sports car, used in the only magazine advertisement the company ever ran.[13] In 1989, the Art Kane Photo Workshops were created in Cape May, New Jersey. They were week-long workshops with notable photographers.[14]

Examples of Kane's work can be found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Amongst his many awards, he was named Photographer of the Year by the American Society of Magazine Photographers (ASMP) in 1964, and was the recipient of an ASMP Lifetime Achievement Award in 1984.[15] A compilation of his work was published in 2014,[16] and a book produced to mark the 60th anniversary of A Great Day in Harlem in 2018, with forewords by Quincy Jones and Benny Golson.[17]

In 1995, Kane, 69, died of a self-inflicted gunshot at his former wife Millicent Kane's house in Garrard County, Kentucky.[18] In addition to the drummer Jonathan Kane, his children also included sons Nikolas and Anthony.[19] [20]

References edit

  1. ^ Silverton, Peter (January 24, 2016). "Icons of Photography: Art Kane". The United Nations of Photography. Archived from the original on March 29, 2016. Retrieved December 31, 2022.
  2. ^ Hall-Duncan, Nancy (1979). The History of Fashion Photography. New York: Alpine Book Co. p. 227. ISBN 0933516002. OCLC 1285555446. Retrieved December 31, 2022 – via Internet Archive.
  3. ^ Gormly, Kellie B. (July 5, 2022). "How the Ghost Army of WWII Used Art to Deceive the Nazis". Smithsonian Magazine. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved July 26, 2022.
  4. ^ Hall-Duncan (1979), p. 68..
  5. ^ Myers, Marc (November 2, 2018). "A Great Day in Harlem, Revisited". Wall Street Journal. New York. Retrieved December 30, 2022.
  6. ^ "A Great Day in Harlem: Behind Art Kane's Classic 1958 Jazz Photograph". The Guardian. London. December 17, 2018. Retrieved December 31, 2022.
  7. ^ Poppy, John (1975). Art Kane, The Persuasive Image: How a Portraitist and Story Teller Illuminates Our Changing Culture. Masters of Contemporary Photography. Los Angeles: Alskog / Thomas Y. Crowell Company. pp. 40–41. ISBN 0690007841. OCLC 1150967383. Retrieved December 30, 2022 – via Internet Archive.
  8. ^ Scott, Ron (August 19, 2021). "Donald Harrison, Banana Pudding, Art Kane Place". New York Amsterdam News. Vol. 122, no. 33. p. 21.
  9. ^ David, Clive (November 30, 1994). "The Classiest of '58: A Picture of Some of the Biggest Names in Jazz Sparked a Riveting Film". The Times. No. 65108. London. p. 37.
  10. ^ "Art Kane". The Art Directors Club. New York. Archived from the original on October 14, 2007.
  11. ^ Buckland, Gail (2009). Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. p. 82. ISBN 9780307270160. Retrieved December 31, 2022 – via Internet Archive.
  12. ^ The Nikon image : A Collection of Contemporary Photographic Art from 17 of Today's Greatest Photographers. Garden City, NY: Ehrenreich Photo-Optical Industries. 1975. p. 37. OCLC 1036752355. Retrieved December 31, 2022 – via Internet Archive.
  13. ^ Lamm, John (2003). De Lorean: Stainless Steel Illusion. Fort Jones, CA: Red Lion Press. p. 100. ISBN 9780974414102. OCLC 1285461284. Retrieved December 31, 2022 – via Internet Archive.
  14. ^ "Art Kane Photo Workshops [Advert]". American Photographer. Vol. 22, no. 5. New York: Diamandis Communications Inc. 1989. p. 71. ISSN 0161-6854. Retrieved December 31, 2022 – via Internet Archive. (See also p. 77).
  15. ^ Walker, David (1995). "Art Kane". Photo District News. Vol. 15, no. 5. New York. p. 32.
  16. ^ Kane, Jonathan (2014). Art Kane. New York: Reel Art Press. ISBN 9781909526129.
  17. ^ Art Kane. Harlem 1958: The 60th Anniversary Edition (Trade ed.). New York: Wall of Sound Editions. 2018. ISBN 9788894366624.
  18. ^ "Lexington Herald-Leader 23 Feb 1995, page 18".
  19. ^ "Art Kane, 69, Photographer Of Jazz Stars". The New York Times. Associated Press. February 24, 1995.
  20. ^ "Lexington Herald-Leader 23 Feb 1995, page 18".

External links edit