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USA. California. 1956
October 19, 2022

At Villa Bardini the exhibition Elliott Erwitt - Photographs

Until 26 February in the exhibition spaces of the villa with a panoramic view over Florence, the most famous shots of the great master of photography

The genius, irony and surreal gaze of Elliott Erwitt in the iconic shots that made him one of the most famous photographers of all time. After almost 20 years, a retrospective of the great master of photography returns to Florence with the exhibition Elliott Erwitt Photographs, from 20 October to 22 January, at Villa Bardini (HERE all the other most beautiful winter exhibitions in Florence, and HERE those not to be missed in Tuscany).

Villa Bardini, Elliott Erwitt ph. Stefano Casati

The exhibition celebrates the long professional life of the photographer, who blew out 94 candles this year, paying homage to his compositional skills by revealing extensive anecdotes and behind-the-scenes stories. Photographs that offer an insight into the history and customs of the 20th century through portraits of great film stars, world powers, that go beyond the characters by showing their intimacy and humanity.

There are about 70 shots on display, carefully chosen by the curator together with Erwitt himself, to succinctly propose his distinctive traits, which tell of reality with lightness, while at the same time leaving deep traces. Erwitt's masterpieces arise from the most diverse situations, built on work, personal, casual and family research.

The exhibition includes famous portraits of Che Guevara smiling, of Kerouac, of Marlene Dietrich, as well as photographs that have made history, such as Jackie Kennedy at the funeral of her brutally murdered husband, or the quarrel between the two leaders Nixon and Khrushchev, in which Nixon's pointing finger makes him appear almost threatening, altering the viewer's perception. Then there are the famous shots of Marilyn Monroe, a diva that Erwitt knew well and whom he gives back to us in an unusual version, as in the famous shot in which she appears pensive, devoid of poses and masks, or in the midst of her character on the set of The Misfits, which marked the end of an era, the end of her marriage with the film's scriptwriter Arthur Miller but also the last film with Clark Gable, who died shortly after filming.

Villa Bardini, Elliott Erwitt ph. Stefano Casati

The exhibition also includes photos of his beloved dogs, a metaphor for the human race to which Erwitt has dedicated numerous books. The artist chose the unusual point of view of the dog for some shoe fashion shoots, which went down in the history of photography: the famous shot of the Chihuahua in a jumper, or the dog suspended from its owner's leash.

USA. New York City. 1974

Erwitt's romanticism explodes in a portfolio of images dedicated to love, including the kiss of two lovers reflected in a car mirror at sunset, which remained in his archive for a long time and was rediscovered in recent times. Then there are private photos, such as the one of his eldest daughter Ellen, still an infant observed in bed by her mother, and Erwitt's self-portraits that convey how much he loves to make fun of himself.

Villa Bardini, Elliott Erwitt ph. Stefano Casati

"Elliott Erwitt is not only the author of the images," says curator Biba Giacchetti, his collaborator for 25 years, "he is also the curator of the collection, which he chose piece by piece together with me, to then personally print each photograph and create an itinerary that was the concentrate of his genius and irony, of his view of the world".

Promoted by Fondazione CR Firenze and Fondazione Parchi Monumentali Bardini e Peyron, curated by Biba Giacchetti, with the coordination of Melissa Camilli and Francesca Lanuara, in collaboration with Sudest57.

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