Friday, October 1, 2010

Harri Peccinotti

This evening I attended a lecture of photographer Harri Peccinotti in MUDAM (modern art museum in Luxembourg) oganized by Design Friends association. Somehow the emphasis has been put on his work for Pirelli calendar but there is so much more about him. Apart from being a very charismatic and warm personality at his 75, he is also appearing to be a very humble and witty English gentlemen who just happens to have a very impressive biography and list of creative achievements.

Harri Peccinotti is a photographer and graphic designer. Born in London in 1935, he started his career as a commercial artist designing record covers and working in advertising before gaining international recognition as the founding art director of British women's magazine Nova in the 1960s. His work as art director in Nova is widely considered as influential for its graphic design as well as photography.

As art director, his distinct graphic design work was also deployed for other magazines such as Flair, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stones and Vogue both before and after Nova. In addition, he designed French newspaper Le Matin de Paris. From the mid 60s he focused more and more on photography and developed a graphic, yet very sensual style, which featured on the pages of fashion magazines as well as in the 1968 and 1969 editions of the renowned Pirelli calendar. A good example of his style during the 1970s are his book covers for Penguin, including a series of Iris Murdoch novels which features unusually cropped, striking pictures of women models with make up in vivid colours.

From 1972 to 1985 he produced a series of photography books on ethnic communities in countries as diverse as Nigeria, Cameroon, Singapore, Malaysia, Italy and Japan among others. 

A book about the full spectrum of his work was put together by Giorgio de Mitri for publisher Damiani in 2008. Its title is simple and graphic, H.P. His work typically features close up shots of the female form, the face in particular and is very sensual. The images are suggestive, even making a fetish of lips and smoking.

At the age of 75 Mr Peccinotti now lives in Paris, He continues to shoot fashion and advertisements and is a photography consultant for French weekly news magazine Le Nouvel Observateur and continues to be an influential figure in art and fashion photography.
(Text quoted from the brochure by Design Friends association).

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