IRIS Nights Lecture Series: On Assignment: Agenda vs Serendipity
After moving from Ohio to New York, photographer Josef Astor worked as an apprentice for Irving Penn, Deborah Turbeville and Angus McBean.
In 1985, he opened his studio in Carnegie Hall and launched his theatrically staged, historically informed photography. Astor is acclaimed for his portraits of individuals from the world of music, architecture, dance, theatre and art.
Astor’s photography has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Newsweek, GQ, Esquire and Rolling Stone to name a few. His advertising clients range from AT & T to Bergdorf Goodman, Absolut Vodka and Phillip Morris.
His work has been widely collected and exhibited, and included in shows at The International Center of Photography, Julie Saul Gallery, Howard Greenberg Gallery, and 'Vanity Fair Portraits' at the National Portrait Gallery in London. He received the Infinity Award from the International Center of Photography. Astor is currently on the faculty of the School of Visual Arts in New York. His directing debut was the documentary 'Lost Bohemia' which premiered in 2010 and won a Special Jury Prize at DOC-NYC Festival.
Most of Astor’s images in the exhibit were assignments and span a broad spectrum of solutions to often challenging parameters of a publication's needs. He will recount successes as well as failures in navigating the precarious conditions that surround an assignment; always with the goal of yielding an inspiring image that will satisfy the agenda of the client without stifling the serendipity of the moment.
The Annenberg Space for Photography offers live programming through our IRIS Nights lecture series, a public program offered free of charge, by online reservation on a first-come, first-served basis. The series brings to life the most current exhibit with hour and a half-long lectures by the featured photographers and other notable guest artists and experts. These programs give attendees unique access to the artists in the intimate setting of the Photography Space.