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Sunday, 03 August 2008


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Vance Maverick

"Previous claim to fame" is a bit strong. He was a well-established photojournalist, and this, from a decade earlier, has certainly been widely reproduced (though seldom so fuzzily). The blurb on this photo captures him well, I think:

I left Germany in November, 1935, and emigrated to the United States. I was lucky because I was a free-lancer for the Associated Press, so I found work very soon. LIFE magazine started a year later. They looked at my photographs and told me, 'This is the sort of photography we want.' I haven't ever had to change my style...

I have to say I thought that picture was very romantic for the longest time, until I stopped and thought about it: how would I feel if some random schmoe grabbed me in a full-on embrace and kissed me just because of a national news announcement?

That pic has always sorta squicked me out since then.

Rich Puchalsky

I always assumed that the picture showed what would have been a rape if there weren't lots of people watching.

Vance Maverick

I always thought that the anonymous sailor (or dude in a sailor suit) did this precisely because everyone was watching. Not that this makes it any more attractive.


I'd initially writer "American's Greatest Groper," but opted for "Osculator" because it's funnier. (In my head, and those of Morrissey fans, probably only.)

This, though, disturbs me:

'This is the sort of photography we want.' I haven't ever had to change my style...

Really? What's kosher (!?!) for Fuhrer works for us?

Vance Maverick

Yeah, I take that as a pretty damning admission, SEK. It's as if he developed a style, then saw his task as to go around exercising it on the subjects that would appeal to his employers. Photojournalist in every sense.

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