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André de Dienes (1913-1985)

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PostPosted: Oct 12, 2010 3:23 pm    Post subject: André de Dienes (1913-1985) Reply with quote

André de Dienes (1913-1985)

André de Dienes was born in 1913 in Turia, Transylvania (now Romania). Following his mother’s suicide he left home at 15 and traveled throughout Europe, mostly by foot, before ending up in Tunisia, North Africa, where he worked odd jobs, learned to paint, and purchased his first camera, a 35mm Retina.

In 1933 de Dienes arrived in Paris to study art and bought his first Rolleiflex camera. Fascinated with taking pictures, he made a living selling photographs to publishing companies, including La Humanite ( a Communist newspaper) and worked for The Associated Press until 1936 when famous Parisian couturier, Captain Molyneux, encouraged de Dienes to become a fashion photographer.

In 1938, with the help of Esquire magazine editor, Arnold Gingrich, he emigrated to the US and settled in New York to work for Esquire, Vogue, Life, and Montgomery Ward. De Dienes spent his vacations traveling parts of the US, taking pictures of the scenic grandeur of the Western United States, and especially the Hopi, Navajo, and Apache Indians.

Dissatisfied with the restrictions of fashion photography, de Dienes moved to Hollywood in 1944 to pursue to pursue his real passion of photographing nudes and outdoor scenes. An emotional and passionate photographer, de Dienes’ objective was to see the beauty in nature and in an effort to make his photographs as true to life as possible, he never retouched them. He believed that to take good photographs, one must have great patience, imagination and endurance, and the capacity to reveal both truth and beauty.

De Dienes’ association with Marilyn Monroe began in 1945 when he hired her for her first modeling job at age 19. A five week road trip photographing the young Norma Jeane across California, Nevada, and New Mexico resulted in a love affair and numerous magazine covers around the world. Their working relationship continued until 1953. Today, de Dienes’ images of Monroe are considered by most to be the best studies ever taken of her.

De Dienes’ work on nudes has generated twenty-four books, published in the US, England, and Germany. Marilyn Mon Amoura was published in 1985 by St. Martinas Press, and Marilyn in 2002 by Taschen (Newsweek featured the three volume book in a six page cover story).

Married twice but with no children, de Dienes died in 1985.
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