Jewish Artist: Eve Arnold in Dialogue with the World

Eve Arnold was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her parents are Russian-Jewish immigrants, the rabbi William (Velvel born Sklarski) and Bessie Cohen (Bosya born Laschiner).

The Jewish photographer Eve Arnold is well known for her photographs of Marilyn Monroe. She has – in a way – reinvented the image by giving it an intimate vision but without any voyeurism.

She was not satisfied with just staring at the Hollywood star. Maybe there are two Eve Arnolds like two Marylins, each in their own complexity: the one who is not too familiar with identity and image and the one who gives meaning to her doubts about existence and aura.

What was it like to photograph Marilyn? It was like seeing a photograph appear in a developer tray. The latent image was there, the moment and the conditions of its unveiling depended on Marilyn. The effect was stroboscopic, and the photographer only had to freeze time for a moment to get a new image.

The photographer traveled the world for the Magnum Agency and then for the Sunday Times when she moved to London. Throughout her life she photographed a diverse range of personalities – from Malcolm X to Queen Elizabeth II.

She has always known how to give her vision not only of bodies, but of beings and what they represent in the collective imagination, without worrying about the ideologies they embody. She knows that photography is not done with preconceived ideas but by paying attention to the ” subject ” that is human. She also wrote and directed Behind the Veil in 1971, a film about veiled women in the Middle East that is now taking on a new urgency.

This woman who was born in Philadelphia and died 100 years later in London (proof that photography preserves) has always created with great attention to detail and concern for others. She never sought a false sense of solitude, nor the opposite of real or supposed shadows. Sincerity remains the basis of her lively gaze.

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