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Albert Watson (born in 1942 in Edinburgh) is a Scottish photographer particularly famous for his celebrity, fashion and art photography. His work is featured in galleries and museums all over the world.
Albert Watson Biography
First, Albert Watson studied graphic design at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee and then film and television at the Royal College of Art in London. Even though he was blind in one eye, Watson also studied photography and continued to take pictures as a hobby for a while.
In 1970, Watson moved to America with his wife Elizabeth and met one of the art directors of Max Factor there who asked him to do his first test photography session. He managed to sell him two of his photos. His distinctive, original style attracted the attention of American and European fashion magazines alike, among them Harper’s Bazaar, Mademoiselle and GQ.
From now on, Albert Watson started commuting between New York and Los Angeles. His first celebrity photo showed Alfred Hitchcock holding a dead goose by the neck. This portrait was printed on the cover of the Harper’s Bazaar’s Christmas issue and – together with hundreds of celebrity photos – became one of Watson’s most famous works. Rock stars, movie stars, rappers, supermodels and even Queen Elizabeth II as well as the Clintons stood in front of his camera.
In 1975, Albert Watson won a Grammy Award for his cover photography of Mason Proffit’s album “Come and Gone”. Only one year later Vogue offered him a job. He moved to New York and his career soon took off, also on an international level.
Albert Watson not only continued to take photos for the most popular international magazines, but also participated in advertising campaigns for famous brands like Levi’s, Gap, Chanel and Revlon. He also discovered his passion for directing TV commercials.
Travelling to Las Vegas, Marrakech and other exotic places, Watson also spent some of his time taking pictures for personal projects such as his photo collections Cyclops, Maroc and Shot in Vegas.
Photo District News, the leading international resource for photography professionals, considers Watson one of the most influential photographers since the invention of photography. Watson’s portraits are regularly exhibited in galleries and museums all over the world.
Albert Watson lives and works in New York. His studio that also presents private exhibitions is a kind of archive. Here, Watson stocks millions of prints and negatives tracing the career of an extraordinary photographer and mirroring the history of 40 years of photography.
“The photographer is part magician, he can do wondrous things with lighting, he can alter things and make things stranger and weirder, and more appealing or even less appealing. The photographer can be the master of his own destiny”, said Albert Watson in an interview with Howard Millard. His lighting technique is based on contrasts determined by distances between subjects, lights and backgrounds. Active spectators can by no means resist the power of Watson’s photos.
Albert Watson, Cyclops, Little, 1994.
Albert Watson, Mad Dog, Schirmer/Mosel, 1996.
Albert Watson, Maroc, Rizzoli, 1998.
Albert Watson et Michele Schons, Albert Watson, Schirmer, 2002.
Albert Watson, Albert Watson - Stern Fotografie, teNeues, 2006.
Albert Watson, Albert Watson, Phaidon Press, 2007.
Albert Watson, Strip Search: Las Vegas, Chronicle Books, 2010.