Frank Horvat

Italian*, 1928–present

Horvat, a fashion photographer whose main oeuvre was created between the 1950s and 1980s, started as a freelance photojournalist, going on a two-year trip to Pakistan and India, and around the world. Being published in LIFE, Réalités, Die Woche, among others, allowed him to continue working with photography in London and Pari, before turning to fashion photography, taking on assignments for Vogue, Jardin des modes, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and more.

His wryly poetic sensibility, working with natural light and the choice of using the 35 mm camera, stood out. How he revolutionised fashion photography at the time, was by directing and shooting the models out in the streets, amidst real life situations, instead of in the studio.

In 1955, he was selected for the legendary exhibition The Family of Man at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Upon meeting with Henri Cartier-Bresson, Horvat then settled in Paris, France, in 1956, taking a job at Magnum.

Horvat returned to photojournalism and started experimenting with cinematography and video. Horvat was an early adopter of Photoshop in 1989 and published his website Horvatland in 1998. The interest in digital media resulted in Horvat becoming a pioneer in this field, by taking advantage of it and bringing it into the working life of the professional photographer.

*Born in former Abbazia, Italy, now Opatija, Croatia.