Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Robert Farber - Artist Feature

“Photography was driven by a passion to paint.”

-Robert Farber

Photo: Running Horses

     Robert Farber is a seasoned photographer whose career has spanned from fine art photography, to fashion and beauty photography campaigns, and has continued into the moving image. He is a New York City native whose artistic career began with art shows in 1970 just after college. At the start of his career, his most moving memory was when he was forced to leave an art show since photography was not widely accepted as an art form at that time. Persisting with his passion, he was eventually discovered at an Upper East Side art show. He was approached by both a publishing company and an advertising agency, allowing his fine art career and fashion photography career to take off simultaneously. A pioneer in many ways, Robert Farber has been a leading force in the world of photography, particularly in his treatment of the subject of the nude.  His work has paved the way for the female form to be shown in fine art, publishing, and advertizing in a way that he describes only as ‘respectfully’. An easily recognized Robert Farber image would be the Newsweek Magazine cover for breast cancer awareness or any of his published books featuring images of nudes.

     Farber has also made great contributions to photography by creating, an online forum for photographers around the world to share ideas and offer education in various aspects of photography. More than just providing education, has allowed for innovation, a place where photographers on any level can meet and learn from each other’s ideas and techniques.

Photo: Dreaming

“I have always handled my subjects with respect, which is what I think has allowed me creative freedom.”


Photo (left): Bloomingdale's advertisement for hats 
Photo (right): Saks Fifth Avenue advertisement


     Robert Farber’s soft ‘painterly’ style can be easily recognized in his fashion and fine art photography. He has created a style so unique that it has come to be defined as “farberesque”.  His fashion photography has appeared in a wide range of campaigns with companies such as Sony, Wrangler, Christian Dior, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, and many more. Farber was even recruited by Jackie Kennedy Onassis during her time working for the publisher Doubleday, showing her a collection of his slides which resulted in the publishing of his notable book By the Sea. Having been a personal fan of Farber’s work, several of his books were found in the collection of Jackie’s estate. 

Photo: Cover for By the Sea, titled Portofino

“I want [my pictures] to evoke a feeling of romance. That the viewer wants to be there, be a part of it, get lost in it, whether it is a still life or landscape.”

Photo: Featured image from Nuestro Mexico project

     Farber is a highly accomplished photographer, having received many awards throughout his career thus far. He considers his most proud honor to be that of Photographer of the Year, awarded in 1987 by the Photographic Manufacturers Association. This honor was received very early in his career and given by his peers, making it that much more special to him. A film about his life is currently in production with PBS. 

Photo: Flag at the Met

“I use what skills are natural for me. I try to evolve creatively with whatever happens [in my life]. If I want to reinvent myself for my own purpose I do that, but I would never do something that didn’t feel natural to me.”
Photo: Looking Up

     In speaking with Robert Farber you get the impression that, throughout his still growing career, he has always been the same down to earth person. Always gracious, Farber is excited to be able to share his experiences with us through his work. 

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