Irving Penn notably said, "A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it. It is, in a word, effective." Penn, who died at 92 in 2009, changed the world of fashion and portrait photography with his minimal yet graceful style. His subjects placed on plain backdrops and shot full frame were isolated from outside aesthetics; alone they created their own visual language. Penn's ability to effortlessly capture the essence of his subjects gained him a career at Vogue that lasted decades, gave him worldwide recognition from the art and fashion scenes and made him a household name. Penn was most famous for photographing celebrities, but his photographic style transcended fashion and portraiture through his personal work: his still lifes of found, banal objects and portraits of different cultures hold the same caution and sensibility as his commercial work. Penn's life's work is, in his words, effective.
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