Jerry Schatzberg American, b. 1927


Jerry Schatzberg was born in the Bronx, New York in 1927. He attended the University of Miami, then began started his career as a freelance fashion photographer as assistant to Bill Helburn in the 1950s. Schatzberg was published in magazines such as Vogue, McCalls, Esquire, Glamour, Town and Country, and Life throughout the 1960s.

Schatzberg reinvented the formal conventions of his time. Influenced by New Wave films from Europe, his early work is characterized by a cinematic atmosphere with an emphasis on location, wide shots, and odd angles to convey action, scale, and mood. In Faye Dunaway Legs, NY (1968), for example, the actress emerges from a dark background to create a striking contrast. Through engagement with his subjects, Schatzberg built character and story with visual gestures and cues.

His rise as a world-class portrait photographer is marked by his intimate and emblematic images of emerging talents and thinkers of the 1960s, including Bob Dylan, Fidel Castro, The Rolling Stones, Andy Warhol, Faye Dunaway, Catherine Deneuve, and many others.

Schatzberg made his directorial debut in the 1970s with Puzzle of a Downfall Child starring Dunaway, which was soon followed by The Panic in Needle Park starring Al Pacino. Gene Hackman co-starred with Pacino in Scarecrow, which won the Golden Palm at The Cannes Film Festival in 1973.

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