Art Kane's Photography

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Art Kane was a fashion and music photographer that centered on the interpretation of the human scene. Though he was notable for his editorial and advertising photography, Kane’s photographic style was perceived as photo illustration due to his conceptual skills in art direction and astonishing eye in photography. He started his career in art direction at the age of twenty six with Seventeen Magazine, nevertheless ended up becoming a photographer as a result of not being happy with “doing other people’s work” as he quoted. After deciding to pursue photography, Art Kane studied under an influential photography instructor named Alexey Brodovitch at the New School in New York.

[01-Art Kane-Louis Armstrong] Kane started his career as an art director at Esquire Magazine. While working at the magazine In 1958, Art Kane was hired by Robert Benton and Harold Hayes to do a photography story on the history of Jazz. He took portraits of Louis armstrong, Duke Ellington and Lester Young. Kane was most inspired by Louis Armstrong because he saw the artist as a pacesetter of the revolution of jazz and not just as an entertainer. For Armstrong’s portrait, Kane felt that it was absolutely necessary to fly the artist to Death Valley on a four seat Cessna plane so he can capture Armstrong’s lyrics in a song that he sang in 1929 through a
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This image titled, “A Great Day in Harlem” ended up becoming one of his most famous photographs and Kane even called it, “the greatest picture of that era of musicians ever taken”. The famous picture inspired Jean Bach, a radio producer in New York, to create a documentary about the photo titled, “A Great Day in Harlem”. Jean Bach’s documentary started a chain reaction around communities to create their own documentaries similar to the one tiled, “A Great Day in

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