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Jonathan Becker Furniture

American, b. 1954

With a style at once impactful, reflective and irreverent, photographer Jonathan Becker belongs more to the artistic than the documentarian realm, masterfully capturing a theatrical sense of the unexpected as he offers glimpses into rarefied worlds.

Bea Feitler — the late, legendary artistic director responsible for vamping up Harper’s Bazaar and Rolling Stone in the 1960s and ’70s — gave Becker his first big break, in 1981, when she asked him to submit images for the relaunch of Vanity Fair.

Becker, who was 26 at the time, had already been the first Paris-based photographer for W magazine and had forged a close friendship with French-Hungarian Surrealist photographer Brassaï, who was then in his 70s. By this age, too, Becker had also developed an enviable reputation as a portrait photographer working on Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine and alongside Slim Aarons and Norman Parkinson at Town & Country, although he knew not to step on his famous colleagues’ toes. “I was a young little interloper,” he says. “I learned more by listening and watching those giants than by trying to engage in any direct interactions with them.”

The young photographer, who was moonlighting at the time as a New York City cab driver, hadn’t dreamed that the project would put his pictures on an equal footing with those of legends of the medium: Also contributing to this debut edition were some of photography’s most revered names, including Richard Avedon, Irving Penn and Helmut Newton, as well as rising star Annie Leibovitz, whose popularity had recently skyrocketed, thanks to her Rolling Stone cover picture of a naked John Lennon curled up alongside a fully clothed Yoko Ono.

That issue was a game changer in modern magazine publishing, with Vanity Fair setting the bar for engaging editorial and daring design for decades to come. It also signaled the making of a man: Becker’s talent for visual storytelling shone through in his avant-gardist tribute, and the magazine’s creative team kept him on, marking the start of his long career there.

As a regular Vanity Fair contributor, Becker operated in the highest echelons of society, traveling the world and immortalizing countless A-list movers, shakers and thinkers from the fields of fashion, culture and politics, not to mention royalty.

Becker's unconventional way of directing his eye is clearly instinctual, resulting in an unusual aesthetic that mixes perception, myth and reality in equal measure. This balance is most apparent in his famous black-and-white picture of Robert Mapplethorpe, taken in 1988 at the opening of Mapplethorpe’s retrospective exhibition at the Whitney, when the famed photographer was dying of AIDS. It is a group shot, showing various figures at different angles, in which Mapplethorpe, caught in profile and listening intently to a woman kneeling beside him, seems to stop time. The moment is heavy with emotion and also dreamlike. It is ineffably surreal.

Becker has given us Stephen King as a cross-eyed zombie (1980); Dustin Hoffman as a mischief maker, lounging on a stack of sun loungers at the Beverly Hills Hotel (2004); and Diana Vreeland as an aging Raphaelesque Madonna dressed in a voluminous black gown and sitting cross-legged in her famous red-clad living room at 550 Park Avenue (1979). The photographer, a lover of spontaneity who deftly plays with perspectives, keeps us intrigued with his open-ended narratives.

Find a collection of Jonathan Becker photography on 1stDibs.

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Creator: Jonathan Becker
Andy Warhol and His Corsets at the Fourth Factory, NY, 1986, by Jonathan Becker
By Jonathan Becker
Located in Pound Ridge, NY
Andy Warhol and his Corsets at the Fourth Factory, New York, 1986 "Andy had to wear corsets ever after he was shot in the abdomen. The ever-devoted Brigid "Polk" Berlin dyed them f...
Category

2010s American Jonathan Becker Furniture

Materials

Paper

Jean-Paul Goude and Grace Jones, Long Island NY, 10 Aug 1992 by Jonathan Becker
By Jonathan Becker
Located in Pound Ridge, NY
Jean-Paul Goude and Grace Jones in the “Lionel Hamptons", Long Island, New York, 10 August 1992 "J.P. and I were working on a story he called the 'Lionel Hamptons’. Grace helped." ...
Category

2010s American Jonathan Becker Furniture

Materials

Paper

At the Eden Roc, Cap d’Antibes, France, 17 May 2008, by Jonathan Becker
By Jonathan Becker
Located in Pound Ridge, NY
At the Eden Roc, Cap d’Antibes, France, 17 May 2008, Photographed by Jonathan Becker Contemporary Color Landscape Photography 44" x 44.5" Archival Pigment Print Edition Nº 1 of ...
Category

2010s American Jonathan Becker Furniture

Materials

Paper

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At the Eden Roc, Cap d’Antibes, France, 17 May 2008, by Jonathan Becker
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Italian Glass and Chrome Wall Lights by Oluce
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Wall or ceiling mounted light fixture with seven leather clad flexible arms and Brushed Brass fittings; pose the arms as you wish to create a unique light fixture; artisan made luxur...
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Leather and Brass Meander Chandelier with Flexible Arms
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Travertine and White Oak Center Table
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Great craftsmanship with a modern sensibility; travertine top center or dining table with solid oak angled cylinder base with a bleached washed finish; made to order; custom versions...
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  • Iron and steel Bertoia Style Sculpture
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H 51 in. W 32 in. D 24 in.
Meander Leather and Brass Flexible Single Sconce
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Add color and flexibility to any room with the Meander One Arm Reading Light, an adjustable wall-mounted light fixture, with flexible leather wrapped arm. Shown here in orange leath...
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Jonathan Becker furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Jonathan Becker's furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are frequently made of paper and designed with extraordinary care. In our collection of Jonathan Becker furniture there are many options to choose from, although gray editions of this piece are particularly popular. 0 vintage editions of these items are in stock, while there are 3 modern editions to choose from as well. If you are looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture by Andrew S. Conklin, Rick Lewis and Billy Couch. Jonathan Becker furniture prices can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. 1stDibs's price starts at US$12,500 and tops out at US$12,500, while pieces like these can sell for US$12,500 on average.

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