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The iconic photograph of Santa Monica Beach #4 by Richard Avedon is a powerful image from a series captured on Santa Monica Beach, California in 1964. Avedon wandered along the beach with his 35mm Pentax camera. In the dim, fading light of dusk he documented touching moments, including the liberating scene of a man holding up a boy with the triumphant virility of an Olympian statue. The spur of the moment shots, however, were severely undeveloped to the point that they yielded only faint traces. Avedon firmly believed he could somehow reveal the hidden images, using every means in the darkroom to salvage genuine moments he photographed. The result was considered more effective by leading critics than if it would have been properly exposed.

Richard Avedon (1923-2004) has received numerous awards and his photographs were exhibited in museums around the world, among which include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the University Art Museum in Berkeley, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark, and the International Center of Photography. His artworks are in the collections of major institutions worldwide and have sold for record prices at auction.

© 2021 The Richard Avedon Foundation

Man lifts young child over his head with one hand at the beach, black and white, 1963


Santa Monica Beach #4

photo 1963 [printed 1993]

Edition printed for the Richard Avedon Retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC

gelatin silver print, edition of 9, signed

Paper Size: 23 3/8 x 19 1/8 inches | 59.4 x 48.6 cm

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