Iconic Contemporary Artists—3 Chances to Commission Portraits from The Watermill Center

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Jul 26, 2016 8:23PM

Among the more than 150 works available in the 23rd Annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit & Auction are three rare opportunities to commission portraits by some of the world’s most acclaimed photographers—Peter Lindbergh, Inez and Vinoodh, and Nan Goldin. Spend an afternoon sitting for a portrait with these artists while supporting the center’s year-round Artist Residency and Education Programs. We spoke with Peter Lindbergh and Inez and Vinoodh about their approach to creating a portrait and recent influences. 

Peter Lindbergh, courtesy of Stefan Rappo. 

PL: I think I plan an idea for a shoot so that I can sleep the night before! When you are on a shoot, you realise within an hour that it won’t happen the way you planned. The important thing is to stop trying to realise something that does not follow the moment… It’s not that it’s easy, but making photographs is a beautiful process that involves being open to things and finding a way to translate your impressions into your own thing. It’s a lot of work but it’s more exciting than difficult.

I respond to the moment. That’s more effective than trying beforehand to find out all there is to know about a person, which makes meeting them quite superfluous. What is great about the time you then spend with the person is the opportunity to create something directly when face to face.

Only if a person’s soul appears in the photo do I as the photographer feel I have achieved what I wanted. As stated, another experience that really helped me was when I realized how important it is to concentrate on the moment of the making.

Inez & Vinoodh.

I&V: Within 5 minutes of meeting someone new, we know what physical elements of that person we want to highlight in the Portrait. Then with hair, makeup, and clothes, we work towards that idea. Once you fully concentrate on the person in front of your lens you intuitively know when the image is there.

Lady Gaga has been one of the most inspiring subjects and collaborators. 

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