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In a startling reality check of the romantically vulgar 60s-70s, the Richard Avedon Foundation reinstalls a rare collection of the famed fashion photographer in New York’s Gagosian Gallery.

Andy Warhol and members of The Factory: Gerard Malanga, poet; Viva, actress; Paul Morrissey, director; Taylor Mead, actor; Brigid Polk, actress; Joe Dallesandro, actor; Andy Warhol, artist, New York, October 9, 1969

The portraits and murals exhibition revisits the historical social and political movements of Americana emphasizing iconic subjects such as Andy Warhol, Allen Ginsberg, Jean Genet, The Chicago Seven and government figures in stark shots on homosexual, political conspiracy, and cultural identity.

On the cusp of stardom, New York-bred Richard Avedon transformed fashion culture of high brow periodicals, serving as the lens master for Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue Magazine from his early career in the 40’s throughout the early 90’s. Cultivating social conversation through his toxic imagery, Avedon extracted the art and allure in his depictions of controversy, injustice, scandal and debauchery. And it was his romance with photography and realism that fostered his riveting portrayals of a glamorous objectivity.

Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky, poets, New York, December 30, 1963 – Photograph by Richard Avedon © The Richard Avedon Foundation

Deeply conceptual, the 20-35 foot large murals are carefully art directed with his placement of subjects against his trademark absolute backdrops that lure the eye into a message-laden settings with the arrangement of names and faces. Candy Darling, Taylor Mead, Weatherman, Bernadine Dohrn, and Young Lords are a few others among the riveting list of figures on display throughout Avedon’s collection. The collection is on display through July 6.

Florynce Kennedy, civil rights lawyer, New York, August 1, 1969 – Photograph by Richard Avedon © The Richard Avedon Foundation

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Written by Angela Gleason

Angela Gleason, graduated in Advertising from San Francisco's Academy of Art University, she rocks the international world on creative fronts as a dedicated slash girl: visual designer / soundsavant / writer / glam lush, for the story beyond the surface. Angela looks after the Catwalk Yourself blog.

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