Tuesday, May 06, 2008
The Photographer of Enchantment: Melvin Sokolsky
Melvin Sokolsky was born and raised on the lower east side, Manhattan during the prewar era. At age 10 he started taking pictures with his Box camera. It was then he understood the importance of emulsion of the day. He had No formal training but simply relied on instinct and desire. And too by Observing.
By 21 years old he was taken on by Mr. Henry Wolf at Harpers Bazaar and his series "Bubbles" and "Flying," both shot for Harper's Bazaar respectively in 1963 and 1965, is one of the classics of fashion photography, in the former, a woman floats along the Seine in a bubble. In the latter, another woman flies over Montmartre. Sokolsky’s world: light and playful full of enchantment. His body of work is astonishing.
Within the walls of Mr. Sokolsky’s studio, he plays with scale and perspective, increases the number of models, and constantly experiments. A woman walks on the ceiling; two others interact on top of a giant table and chair; another climbs a stairway that has no beginning or end.
He is knowledgeable about the history of images; influenced by the surrealist movement and metaphysical painting So many ideas, always fresh, yet there is also the process, the precision of the images, and the saturation of colors. He has sustained a long collaboration with Bazaar, but too works for Show, McCall, Esquire, Newsweek, and New York Times Magazine. His visual poignancy remains intact; his photography, an experience both sensory and conceptual, is as luminous as ever.
The 1960s is considered to be the Golden Age of fashion photography, as well as its age of emancipation. Sokolsky, with his creativity, is among the genre's revolutionaries. "I acted on instinct, and all I had to offer at first was irreverence.”
Melvin Sokolsky lives and works in Los Angeles. He is represented in L.A. by the Fahey/Klein Gallery and in New York by the Staley+Wise Gallery and by Marek & Associates.