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Phaidon Press Inc.
Born in 1941, Larry Fink was a teenager in the 1950s in an America on the cusp of radical social change. Growing up on Long Island in New York, Larry Fink was disinterested in the consumer-driven culture of 1950s' America. A disaffected teenager, his parents transferred him to art school where his career as a photographer began to flourish. His parents were supportive of his interest in the arts, and Fink would later drop out of college to join a circle of artists living in Greenwich Village. Fink spent the 1960s watching and learning from the prominent photographers of the time: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, W. Eugene Smith, and in many ways, his photographic aesthetic and rebellious spirit encapsulate the dramatic lose of innocence that the US underwent after the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963. Through his mother, he met Lisette Model who would come to be his photographic mentor. Not one to follow the trends of the time, Fink's work draws heavily on the European tradition of photography of Brassai and Kertesz and of the painters Georg Grosz and Otto Dix. Like these artists, Fink saught inspiration in public life, what he considered a grotesque and sensuous theatre of life. Consistent throughout all of his work is its central subject: the human body in action. Of all American post-World War II photographers, none were as devoted to the candid expressiveness of the human body as Fink. Like Weegee before him, Fink was an interactive photographer, a ready witness to the drama of everyday life. Always keen to infuse his photographs with social commentary, Fink would pursue socially and politically contentious imagery for the rest of his life, such as in the black ties series and the Martin's Creek series. He currently teaches photography at Bard College in New York where he has been teaching since 1994.