Pier 24, vacant since 1980, has shed its skin as an abandoned warehouse in the Port of San Francisco and transformed into a massive temple of Modernist and contemporary photography (just check out their impressive list of artists). We can thank the Pilara Foundation, an organization that provides SF Art Institute students with direct access to renowned photographers, for this new outpost of high art.
Little wonder that the nimble-footed Fred Astaire played a fashion photographer so clearly based on Richard Avedon in the 1957 musical, Funny Face: He ideally translated the supple movement and sublime grace of Avedon’s ‘50s fashion photography (and love of Hungary’s Martin Munkacsi) in his portrayal, all while snapping the radiant Audrey Hepburn.
But Avedon was so much more than the landmark shots that have entered the visual vernacular. More than, say, Dovima caressing the elephants in a surreal juxtaposition of the rough and the wild against the silkily draped and the divine artful (Dovima incidentally also had a teensy cameo in Funny Face as the ditzy swan with a grating whine).