Richard Avedon: both, Rudolf Nureyev 1961
I love viewing these pictures together. I love that Avedon chose to photograph Nureyev in a simple, vulnerable stance and while dancing in an expressive pose. It really showcases the multifaceted beauty of Nureyev's ability and vice versa.
Richard Avedon: Dovima with Elephants 1955
Dovima's presence among the elephants is graceful as her presence always is. Yet her touching the elephants combined with their almost synchronized, equally graceful movements makes the viewer wonder if it was her grace and elegance that was able to tame such lumbering creatures.
While Avedon's celebrity and fashion photographs are first used as a representative of a familiar figure, they also go beyond that. They don't simply reproduce a face or a body, but (at the risk of sounding cliché) a soul and an ability. This is rarely captured in celebrity photos, especially editorial and journalistic work.