Monday, Apr. 02, 2012

Horst P. Horst

The German photographer Horst — who was born with Horst as a first name and legally changed his full name to Horst P. Horst later in life — captured an era of European and American glamour on film. His black-and-white portraits of 20th century icons, from Coco Chanel and Rita Hayworth to Andy Warhol and Jackie Kennedy, are known for their drama, enchantment and classical inspiration. He could shine that same rich glow on noncelebrities too, and his most famous work remains a 1939 image of a model's corset-bound back. Although the Horst look became less popular in the 1960s and '70s, elegance has a way of coming back into style. His work, which first appeared in an advertisement in French Vogue in 1931, is still associated with fashion: the music video for the song "Vogue" by that other mononymic celebrity, Madonna, pays homage to the photographer's signature style.