Acclaimed American photographer Larry Fink dies aged 82

“George Plimpton and Devotees, Elaine's New York," January 1999
“George Plimpton and Devotees, Elaine's New York," January 1999 Copyright Larry Fink/Robert Mann Gallery via AP
By David MouriquandAP
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The “self-described Marxist from Long Island," Fink was best known for black and white photos of shots of the everyday life of US families, as well as snapshots of wealthy New Yorkers.

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Acclaimed American photographer Larry Fink, whose subjects ranged from family portraits and political satire to working class lives and the elite of show business, has died aged 82.

Robert Mann, owner of the Robert Mann Gallery, told AP that Fink died Saturday (25 November) at his home in Martins Creek, Pennsylvania. Mann did not cite a specific cause of death, but said that Fink had been in failing health.

“He was a dear friend and a real free spirit,” Mann said. “I've known people like Robert Frank and Ansel Adams and Larry stood out. He was an exceptional and unique individual, a very unconventional man, not only in his personality, but in his photography.”

American photographer Larry Fink - 2013
American photographer Larry Fink - 2013Stephanie Berger/AP

A “self-described Marxist from Long Island," Fink was best known for “Social Graces,” a 1979 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in which black and white photos of wealthy New Yorkers were juxtaposed against shots of everyday life of families in Martins Creek, Fink's longtime home. The series was published in book form in 1984.

He would go on to work for The New York, Times, Vanity Fair and other publications, photographing such celebrities as Meryl Streep, Natalie Portman and Kate Winslet. He would also spoof President George W. Bush and other political leaders.

“Pat Sabatine's 8th Birthday Party, PA," 1977.
“Pat Sabatine's 8th Birthday Party, PA," 1977.Larry Fink/Robert Mann Gallery via AP
“Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania," December 1994.
“Blue Horizon, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania," December 1994.Larry Fink/Robert Mann Gallery via AP

Fink had solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum and the Philadelphia Museum of Art among other galleries, and he received numerous honours, including two John Simon Guggenheim Fellowships.

“George Plimpton and Devotees, Elaine's New York," January 1999
“George Plimpton and Devotees, Elaine's New York," January 1999Larry Fink/Robert Mann Gallery via AP

Fink, who first took up photography at 13 and later studied under photographer Lisette Model, had a professional life that reflected the diverse outlooks of his parents. He grew up in a politicized family that scorned the free market, while also enjoying stylish automobiles and high-end parties.

In the early 1960s, Fink moved to Greenwich Village in New York City, with dreams that he was undertaking not just a career, but a revolution.

“Of course the revolution didn't quite get there so I was left with a career,” he told Blind Magazine in 2021.

"English Speaking Union, New York, New York," December 1975
"English Speaking Union, New York, New York," December 1975Larry Fink/Robert Mann Gallery via AP

Fink is survived by his second wife, the artist Martha Posner, and a daughter, Molly, from his marriage to painter Joan Snyder.

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