How Photographer Irving Penn Redefined Beauty

Irving Penn masterfully crafted an image through expert use of lighting, unique postures, and often a blank canvas background. He removed the excesses from portraiture, inviting viewers to take a deeper look at his subjects. The photos below are pulled from the The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s major retrospective of his work:

photography of irving penn

Irving Penn’s Photography (Via Invaluable. Click image to see full size.)

As the folks at Invaluable put it,

“Penn sought to redefine beauty, which led him to shoot a plethora of objects, including trash. His ideal of beauty was so profound that it made a generation pause, admire, and replicate. Not only did he influence the way we think about art, he also showed us that it intersects and influences all aspects of contemporary culture. Penn’s work demonstrates that art is what makes us human.”

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