How can we describe the career of Photographer Albert Watson ?
We could tell you about his 250 covers for Vogue or the fact that he has made a large number of photos for blockbuster movies such as The Da Vinci Code or Kill Bill or that he has produced over 650 television commercials. We could remind you that his photographic collection has been engrained in our collective imagination, and includes such shots as Alfred Hitchock holding a goose wearing a bow tie. Or his photograph of Kate Moss that was recently sold at Christies for $79,000, and that he has photographed and even transformed big celebrities like when he turned Mick Jagger into a leopard...
It is true that Albert Watson's career path would never make you think of any of this.
The photographic Master was born in Scotland in 1942. His father was a boxer and his mother a sports teacher. He began his studies at the school Rudolfp Steiner. Was it in this school, at a young age, that his creative passion took form? During our interview he did not refrain from telling us that, at least, this school had created in him the desire to go further.
When we look at his debut, far from the world of creation, we find that Albert began working in London as an assistant scientist for the Air Ministry. He decided to return to Edinburgh and worked in Duncan's chocolate factory. He took advantage during this period to study graphics at the Jordanstone College of art and Design in Dundee, then he studied cinema and television at the Royal College of Arts in London.
His wife Elisabeth offered him his first camera for his 22nd birthday. It was with this gift that his fascination with photography was born.
Taking advantage of a scholarship exchange, obtained by his wife, they emigrate to the United States in 1969.
For more than 30 years, Albert Watson has traveled the world photographing and becoming a creator of a prolific number of instantly recognizable images. To him we owe photos of celebrities and unique landscapes, such as those of Morocco which he likes so much, and photographic series of cities that fascinate him such as Las Vegas. Albert Watson loves aesthetics. He is fascinated by images and the loss of vision in one eye when he was 8 years old only strengthened his capacity to capture theses essential elements.
His professional career really began at the age of 31 with his first photographic work that would change his life. He took a series of photos that would make him famous and one photo in particular that is now regarded as legendary. The Albert Watson photograph of Alfred Hitchcock holding a goose wearing a bow tie put the master of the suspense in a completely different light. This is no doubt one of the pivotal moments behind the success of Albert.
The list is incredibly long of advertising campaigns and celebrities photographs. Albert Waston was published, not only in Vogue but also in Rolling Stone, Life, Newsweek... The celebrity photographs are numerous and from all over the world; Michael Jackson, Al Pacino, Mike Tyson and also the official photos of the marriage of Prince Andrew and Sarah Fergusson. They qualify him as a photographer of fashion, but he has also published several books like Cyclops in 1995 and Morocco in 1998 that are hymns to creation far removed from the stars and the dazzle of show business.
His double training both as photographer and of director has given him an outstanding sense of the image. He says of his work that ‘it is always a mixture of graphic elements and of cinema". During the last 30 years, Albert Watson has produced an outstanding photographic catalogue. Someone caricatured him as being a bulimic of the photo shoot. We prefer the words of his true fans.
It is this passion, which he has expressed in several of his personal works, that is illustrated as well in "Cyclops" or in "Morocco". Both are photographic witnesses to totally different universes; Morocco and its rich landscapes as well as the unique portraits of the local inhabitants.
In his latest work, which is about Las Vegas, Albert offers a mix of atmosphere and intrigue all associated with design, color, coolness, sex, money, and religion. His photographs are unique and provoke in us an irresistible attraction.
We met Albert Watson on several occasions, in Brussels at the Young Gallery, in Paris at Actes2 and at Arles this past summer. Our feeling was always the same; Albert Watson is a quiet man who naturally inspires respect, through the vastness of his work and the creativity that it shows.
Albert Watson is a true creator of images and the films that we dedicate to him over the next few weeks will allow you to appreciate his unique work.
We are very proud to welcome Albert Watson to Fine Art Tv.