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The Comedy of Man. Erwitt’s take on the world in 140 images
Written by Maria Rita Cerilli   

erwitt.jpg140-plus images, almost all of them in black and white, show us the ironic – though empathic – look that Elliot Erwitt used through his lifetime to frame the most tragic and funny events in the world that passed before his lens, where the lecture of ‘the right moment’ is coloured by an unpredictable vein of humour.

 

A universe frozen in bizarre poses, captured in the language of snapshots, with common people, men, women, children, seniors, and animals as protagonists, seized in the normality of their daily lives. However, celebrities too make their appearance, famous faces of a lost America, grief-stricken Jacqueline Kennedy mourning her husband, a wonderful Marilyn Monroe at the highest of her splendour, a pugnacious Che Guevara, a Richard Nixon in a conceited talk with Nikita Khrushchev in 1959.

 

erwitt2.jpgSuddenly, a raid into contemporary: a shot of president Obama with his wife Michelle, on the background of a swarm of cell phones and digital cameras picturing the end of the electoral campaign. Be it a celebrity or a common, Erwitt has the same distinct look on them, cutting and fullof empathy at the same time, showing the irony of daily life, and its complexity too. The same attitude we perceive in the photographer’s workon inanimate objects, pushing the democratic quality of the means to the extreme, bringing on the stage the Comedy of Man.

 

«Elliott Erwitt. Personal Best»
Until 15 July Casa dei Tre Oci
Info www.fondazionedivenezia.org