Yousuf Karsh

YOUSUF KARSH, (1908-2002)

Yousuf Karsh, born in Armenia in 1908, was the best portrait photographer of 20th century. Because of Turks’ massacre and persecution of Armenians, he had to flee to Syria with his family. Later, he was sent to Canada to live with his uncle, a photographer in Quebec.

Yosuf Karsh, self portrait

“My chief joy is to photograph the great in heart, in mind, and in spirit, whether they be famous or humble.”

His work is currently on display Sejong Museum of Art in Seoul, and it’ll be on all through May. I went to see this exhibition a few days ago thinking, “how can portraits be artistic?” but I was wrong. Although I don’t have a great sense of taste or knowledge in recognizing art, I can see that his photos really are amazing and unique. He captures every single detail, every strand of hair, every thread of his models. And when you look at his portraits, you can almost see the soul of the person in the picture. You feel as if you personally knew the people in Karsh’s pictures.

Karsh has captured many famous politicians, stars, and artists of the 20th century, but for me, the most memorable ones for me were his photography of Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Audrey Hepburn, Andy Warhol, and Elizabeth Taylor. I put up the pictures, but trust me, it looks way better to have a look at them in real life.

Elizabeth Taylor

Audrey Hepburn

Winston Churchill

Andy Warhol

Albert Einstein



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