New York: Random House, 1993. 1st Edition. Large folio, publisher’s brown cloth, spine and upper board stamped in orange, red and burgundy, large black-and-white self-portrait of Avedon mounted to lower board, original acetate dust jacket stamped in red.
Monumental photo-autobiography of legendary photographer Avedon, with 284 oversized black-and-white plates. The son of Russian-Jewish immigrants in the garment industry, Avedon got his start shooting department store ads, and soon was contributing to magazines such as Vogue, Life, and Harper's Bazaar, where he revolutionized fashion photography. In place of stiff mannequin-like poses, Avedon’s women “leapt off the page; they danced and tumbled and communicated” (New York Times). But over the course of his nearly six-decade career, it's as a portraitist that Avedon left his mark, producing "shockingly intimate" portraits of some the biggest cultural figures of the 20th century, including Groucho Marx, Andy Warhol, Anna Magnani, Bob Dylan, Dorothy Parker, Al Sharpton, Marilyn Monroe, Malcolm X, Janis Joplin, and countless others. "This book tracks the path of three crucial illusions in my life. The first section is about the illusion of laughter....The second section is about the illusion of power. The third section is about the loss of all illusions. All of the images were brought to me by the real people and events of my time" (from Avedon's brief preface). With plate and subject indexes. Stated first edition on the colophon, with 2 the lowest number in number row, indicating first printing per the publisher's custom from 1976 onwards. Published simultaneously with a signed limited edition of 250 copies. Book fine; light surface rubbing to unclipped dust jacket, with small nicks to head of spine and flap folds. Near fine. Item #522