Dali's Mustache

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Random House Incorporated, 1994 - Art - 128 pages
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With 101 Life magazine covers to his credit, Philippe Halsman (1906-1979) was one of the leading portrait photographers of his time. In addition to his distinguished career in photojournalism, Halsman was one of the great pioneers of experimental photography, motivated by a profound desire to push this youngest of art forms toward new frontiers by using innovative and unorthodox photographic techniques.

One of Halsman's favorite subjects was Salvarod Dali, the glittering and controversial painter and theorist with whom the photographer shared a unique friendship and extraordinary professional collaboration that spanned over thirty years. Whenever Dali imagined a photograph so strange that its production seemed impossible, Halsman tried to find the solution, and invariably succeeded.

As Halsman explains in his postface, Dali's Mustache is the fruit of this marriage of the minds. The jointly conceived and seemingly nonsensical questions and answers reveal the gleeful humor and assumed cynicism for which Dali is famous, while the marvelous and inspired images of Dali's mustache brilliantly display Halsman's consummate skill and extraordinary inventiveness as a photographer.

This combination of wit, absurdity, and the offhandedly profound is irresistible and has contributed to the enduring fascination inspired by this unique photographic interview, which has become a cult classic and valuable collector's item since its original publication in 1954. The present volume faithfully reproduces the first edition and will introduce a new generation to the irreverent humor and imaginative genius of two great artists.

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About the author (1994)

Philippe Halsman's memorable photographs of the leading statesmen, scientists, entertainers and artists of our time continue to appear in magazines and books. In 1944, four years after arriving in the Unites States from France, his colleagues elected him first president of the American Society of Magazine Photographers. In 1958 he was named one of the world's ten best photographers in an international poll.

His other publications include The Frenchman, Piccoli (a fairy tale), Philippe Halsman's Jump Book, Halsman on the Creation of Photographic Ideas, and Sight and Insight, as well as Portraits and Halsman at Work, which were published by his family after his death in 1979. His work is represented in the permanent collections of numerous museums in the United States and abroad.

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