It was a big surprise when I read his name, Elliott Erwitt, on the book that has a place on my coffee table for many years. Moments like these leave me in awe about coincidence and the chance of how people and things find their way into your life. How did I not realize that I already had a book by this photographer?
In fact, I thought I discovered Elliott Erwitt not long ago when I spent too much time scrolling through the webshop of the Magnum website. There it was, a picture of a very cute dog photographed in mid-air jumping beside its owner; of whom you can only see a bit of his trenchcoat, one hand holding the dog’s leash, his cropped pants that give away white socks and dark brogues pointing out in a ballerina-like plié.
Without a doubt, I loved the picture right away. What made the dog jump? He’s adorable. His small face seems painted on as if he’s a performing artist. One of his black and pointed ears leaves one eye in a dark spot. And the outward-pointing shoes of his owner match his outward-pointing ears as well.
Unfortunately, I do not have the funds to acquire a signed print. For now, the picture is my desktop background on the computer I wrote this post on. That’s pretty nice already.
Take a journey with Elliott Erwitt
Although many of Elliott Erwitt’s photographs have reached icon status, his persona stays rather unknown to the bright mass. Which isn’t a bad thing. After all, his private life stays private. He doesn’t need to hide from the paparazzi or gets recognised on the street all the time.
Now is the perfect moment to learn more about him. Until September 3rd you can watch the documentary made by his friend and assistant Adriana Lopez Sanfeliu on Arte. If you live in Germany or France (or use a VPN), you have online access to the documentary. I am an Erwitt Fan, so for me, watching the documentary was a no-brainer.
The film offers a glimpse into Erwitt’s life – today and many moons ago; what he thinks about photography and how he still manages to photograph in his age (being born in 1928). Without telling too much, I can reveal that the film makes you feel like you are right beside Elliott Erwitt. Certainly, it’s a private atmosphere. Don’t miss out and get to know this kindhearted human a little as well.