Robert Farber has become renown for his depictions of the female form, although he has produced an impressive oeuvre of work in various genres.
Farber’s unique compositions allow the viewer to see the subject from a different perspective and in his words,
“to evoke a feeling of romance. That the viewer wants to be there, be a part of it, get lost in it, whether it is a still life or landscape.”
A pioneer in many ways, Robert Farber has been a leading force in the world of photography, particularly in his treatment of the subject of the nude. During an interview we conducted with Farber we asked what feelings he tries to relate through his various styles of shooting nudes or does it vary? Why do he usually obscure the face of his models making them somewhat anonymous? He answered:
“When I’m photographing nudes, I shoot totally spontaneously and for the moment. I seldom pre-plan. The environment, the light, the subject and how it all plays together dictates whether my image will be pensive or provocative. Also, what’s important is capturing the best features of my subject. This all has to be in sync with the environment and my own sensitivities at the time. All of this contributes to a variation in the mood of my images, but it’s always captured through the same eye. I obscure the faces usually because I rather that there is more of a mystique, not a recognized person. It allows the viewer to use their own imagination and not relate them to a particular person.”
Paving the Way
His work has paved the way for the female form to be shown in fine art, publishing, and advertising in a way that he describes only as “respectfully.” Delighting the viewer with his natural approach and fully embracing the female form with a fine art approach, Farber began introducing nudes in his advertising work in the 1970s. He brings a sweeping romanticism to his fine artwork. His trademarks are soft light, grain, painterly perspective, and carefully balanced composition.
Aside from numerous other creative awards, Robert Farber has received the distinctive Photographer of the Year award from the Photographic Manufacturers Association. He has also received the ASP International Award from the Professional Photographers of America and The American Society of Photographers. Farber has lectured at the Smithsonian Institute, The George Eastman House, as well as universities and professional groups throughout the United States, Japan, Australia and Europe. Jackie Kennedy Onassis recruited Farber during her time working for the publisher Doubleday that resulted in the publication of his notable book By the Sea which would be the first of many others. Recently, Canon presented Farber’s work in a solo exhibition at Art Miami in 2013, while a documentary highlighting the artist is currently in development for PBS for 2014 chronicling this artist’s amazingly elegant work over the past four decades.