Gordon was a famed photographer who took photographs of different American lives, whether it be the rich, poor, homeless, laborers, countrymen, or city folk.
On November 1, 1948, Life magazine published the photo essay “Harlem Gang Leader,” introducing their readers to the photography of Gordon Parks and to his subject, the seventeen-year-old Leonard (Red) Jackson, leader of the Harlem gang the Midtowners. “Gordon Parks: The Making of an Argument,” a recently released book and concurrent exhibition presented by The Gordon Parks Foundation and the New Orleans Museum of Art, is a critical examination of this assignment, after which Parks became Life’s first African-American staff photographer.
Born in Scotland in 1966, Gordon Ramsay left behind an early athletic career to become a renowned chef in London. By the early 2000s he was making his mark on British TV as the temperamental host of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares and Hell’s Kitchen, shows that made a successful transition to American audiences. The award-winning chef has since expanded his celebrity brand via such programs as MasterChef and Hotel Hell and opening more restaurants around the globe.
Considered one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Gordon Parks was a self-taught photographer, filmmaker, writer, and composer. He is best known for chronicling the African American experience in powerful, poetic photographs. Parks worked for the Farm Security Administration and the Office of War Information before becoming the first black staff photographer at Life magazine. He was the first black auteur to release a major Hollywood film, The Learning Tree (1969), and he later made Shaft (1971) and Shaft’s Big Score! (1972), films that defined the blaxploitation genre. Parks also cofounded Essence magazine. In his photographs, Parks captured both the rich and famous and marginalized communities, especially his own. “I saw that the camera could be a weapon against . . . all sorts of social wrongs,” he said. “I knew at that point I had to have a camera.”
[tags: George Gordon Byron Essays Biography]
For his project on the Fontenelles, Parks' methods were different, as his images and their accompanying text reveal. In Voices, he explains that he happened upon the Fontenelles, befriended them and came to know them as individuals and as a family before he began documenting them. Parks’ documentary methods involved getting to know his subjects and listen to their words before placing a camera’s lens between them. Moreover, he treated his camera less as a tool to create artifice and more as a tool to capture reality. For his documenting of the Fontenelles, he shot scenes as they were rather than as he created them. His approach bridged a distance, both conceptually and literally, between the photographed subject and the photographer, between the photograph and the viewer. His photographic approach, coupled with his revealing essay, brought the Fontenelles and individuals like them to life, thereby enabling an effective social critique.
‘Gordon Parks: Segregation Story
Gordon Parks was one of the most well-known photographers of the 20th century. He originally became famous for his work as a photographer for the government’s Farm Security Administration under the New Deal. His work documenting the social structure and racial inequalities of the South garnered him much attention and acclaim.
[tags: Biography Biographies Rosa Parks Essays]
In the summer of 1947, editors from the short-lived magazine ’47, known since its shuttering in 1948 as The Magazine of the Year, contacted Ralph Ellison—then in the thick of his seven-year labor to complete “Invisible Man”—with an idea for a photo essay on the Lafargue Psychiatric Clinic in Harlem. Established a year earlier with help from Richard Wright, the clinic had become famous for its stance against segregation, not only in the clientele it served but also, perhaps more remarkably, in its all-volunteer staff. Ellison was excited by the prospect, and, after enlisting the photographer Gordon Parks—an acquaintance from Harlem artistic and intellectual circles—he accepted the assignment, though the magazine would go out of business before the photo essay could be published.