Over more than five decades, Katz has created a distinctive, fast-paced style recognizable by a dazzlingly perceptive, sometimes glaringly bright color palette, flattened shapes, and unconventional, often extremely large compositions that rival billboards and movie screens. Portraits of family and friends loom large in Katz’s oeuvre. This drawing shows the late Swiss-American filmmaker, photographer, and painter Rudy Burckhardt (1914--1999), a close friend of the Katz family for many years. While Katz acknowledges his sitter’s unkempt appearance--noting the disheveled hair and unruly eyebrows--he also imbues him with a sense of determination, even movie-star-like glamour. The unlikely horizontal format of the portrait, its “en-face” presentation with eyes slightly focused to the right, the close-up cropping, the perspective from below, the suggested bright light, and the barren background all contribute to the effect.
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