RIP David Armstrong
The photography world lost one of its brightest stars over the weekend with the passing of David Armstrong, a photographer who became massively influential with his intimate portraits and soft focus sensibilities. Armstrong had been suffering from liver cancer and was only 60 years old.
A student of photography through the 1970’s, Armstrong first garnered the attention of the art world with a series of black and white portraits that were shown at the landmark MOMA PS1 event New York/New Wave. In the three decades since, he had become an increasingly prolific and in demand artist, shooting for magazines such as French Vogue and Another Man, working on campaigns for Burberry and building a longstanding relationship with Rodarte, partnering seamlessly with fellow photographers Hedi Slimane and longtime friend Nan Goldin, and publishing five books of his collected works, one of which was a collaboration with Goldin.
Armstrong is best known for his portraits of male beauty, exemplified in his series and book titled 615 Jefferson Ave. He extended his subject matter into cityscapes and fashion photography, but it is his principle aesthetic more than a singular subject that continues to influence photographers today, from Ryan McGinley to Alasdair McLellan. He will be greatly missed, but his legacy will live on in his uncanny ability to so effectively capture the enigma of the male gaze.
Images by David Armstrong