Gideon Lewin pulls back the curtain on one of the most prolific artists of our time.
A young Richard Avedon in his New York studio
Cocktails and couture ushered in festivities for the celebratory launch of Gideon Lewin’s tome Avedon: Behind the Scenes 1964-1980. The book captures Lewin’s personal experiences working with Richard Avedon for nearly 20 years and spotlights the energy, intrigue and humor encountered though the glitz and glam of the industry. Fashion enthusiasts and fans of the lauded photographer flocked to Neiman Marcus’ flagship store downtown, where CEO Geoffroy van Raemdonck hosted the guest of honor—on the scene with his wife, storied fashion designer Joanna Mastroianni. Having followed Lewin’s impressive career throughout the years, we were thrilled to snag a seat at the table, where we caught up with Lewin. Here are a few sound bites.
Let’s talk about the formation of this book. I was a very busy photographer; every day was a new day—always moving forward. It really was my wife, my other half and life companion, my collaborator, who was listening to all the stories as we looked through the magazine pages from my time with Avedon. It took her 10 years to convince me to bring these memories and this book to life.
Can you share some fun stories about your first moments with Avedon? Much intense work came before fun moments. But showing me the Fred Astaire move as he was dressed in a tuxedo holding a cane, or insisting that there is a solution to every problem when I did not have one the first time. Running to all the museums in Paris... For fun, being paged repeatedly by him while sunbathing at the Beverly Hills Hotel pool so people will notice me.
Walk us through your creative process. As a photographer, I am a very visual person. I see things that most people don’t focus on. I love people and am inspired by everything I observe, sometimes totally subconsciously.
When you’re not capturing beautiful moments, where can we find you? As a visual person, my eye never stops searching and coming up with new ideas. One of my favorite things to do is garden and to take in some culture.