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March 25, 2023

Aretha Franklin, 1967 by Art Kane

Wanting to highlight her strong Gospel roots, Art Kane tried waving the camera in a circular motion to try to make halo shapes from the light in Aretha Franklin’s eyes. This photo is also a rare, Art Kane crop, as virtually all his images are composed in full frame.

In this contact sheet from 1967, Kane was shooting a story on soul music for Esquire magazine.

Art Kane was one of the most creative, talented and  influential photographers of the 20th century. Having photographed many pop icons, musicians and celebrities of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, He is known for his interesting and magnetic point of view.

Kane started working during the 1950s as the art director for Seventeen Magazine, while in 1958 he did a photo-shooting for Esquire magazine in Harlem, featuring 57 legendary jazz musicians. He then started working with musicians, creating many playful, unique portraits of famous artists.

“You have to own people... grab them, twist them into what you want to say about them,” Kane once said of his work.


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