David Crompton
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40/70 #01: Saul Leiter

Untitled self-portrait. Undated (1950s) 

Untitled self-portrait. Undated (1950s) 


" Max Kozloff said to me one day, ‘You’re not really a photographer. You do photography, but you do it for your own purposes – your purposes are not the same as others’. I’m not quite sure what he meant, but I like that. I like the way he put it."

-Saul Leiter


I'm starting this series of posts out by profiling two people who passed away in 2013. Both artists left behind rich, wonderful bodies of work that have yet to be truly given the honour they deserve. The first is Saul Leiter.

Name: Saul Leiter
Date of Birth: December 3, 1923 (Died November 26, 2013)
Place of Birth: Pittsburgh, United States
Occupation: Photographer, Painter
Age at Death: 89
What was so great about Saul Leiter?: He lived and worked until he was days away from 90. In a career that spanned over sixty years he created a body of photography and painting work that demonstrated a unique fluency in colour and composition. He was an outsider who did things his own way and took his time doing them. He kept the lights on doing commercial work and really seemed to understand and be comfortable with the relationship between the two worlds. Leiter was a maverick who was genuinely indifferent to professional attention for the majority of his life–when it came to him late, he seemed both amused and bemused by it all.


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