This year, Leica Picture of the Year collectors can look forward to a very special motif by New York Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt. The limited edition print of Bulldogs, which is only available through Leica Galleries, is one of Erwitt’s signature dog pictures. The truism that dogs and their owners often have visual similarities is taken to a curious extreme in this motif taken in the year 2000.
The photographer discovered this perfect symbiosis between dog and owner by chance, while walking around his local neighbourhood. He remembers the moment well: “I had set out from my studio just around the corner on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, taking a walk with my friend Hiroji Kubota, but I wasn’t carrying a camera. I saw this scene and asked him if I could borrow his camera. He kindly handed me his Leica and I used up the whole film.” By the last picture on the role, all the compositional and conceptual elements were in the right place, the superimposition of the heads was perfect. The absurdity of the picture was further accentuated when the second bulldog to the left of the picture, adopted the same pose as the rather surreal-like dog and master pair. With patience and perseverance, Erwitt had once again managed to capture one of his typical images, because, as he says, “Many pictures lead to one good one.”
Now, at age 95, Erwitt can look back over nearly eight decades of tireless picture-taking. The elegant levity and refined sense of everyday humor, make his motifs unforgettable. His precise eye, his sense of fun, and his feel for the moment convey the ambiguity of life. The fact that dogs often play a leading role has long become his trademark. Erwitt was born in Paris in 1928, the only child of Russian immigrants. He grew up in Milan before his family was able to flee to New York. He gained his first experience with photography in Los Angeles, but, as of 1946, New York City was to be the center of his life. In 1953, he became a member of the Magnum Agency. Journalistic assignments alternated constantly with commercial photography, in addition to personal projects, which Erwitt today considers his most important works. Many of his images are counted among the most famous motifs in photographic history so that Erwitt’s induction into the Leica Hall of Fame is both appropriate and well-deserved.
Since 2021, Leica Camera AG has been selecting a Leica Picture of the Year, taken by one of the outstanding photographers who have been inducted into the Leica Hall of Fame Award. Elliott Erwitt is the 13th photographer to date to have received the award in honor of his life’s work. With the intention of sharing some of this success with all Leica enthusiasts, a Leica Picture of the Year is chosen each year. The Leica Picture of the Year is available exclusively at 27 Leica Galleries worldwide. This opens up the opportunity for all collectors and Leica friends to build up a unique selection of limited editions by great Leica photographers. Following Ralph Gibson and Thomas Hoepker, it is now one of Elliott Erwitt’s images that has been selected as Leica Picture of the Year.
Leica Picture of the Year 2023
New York City, USA 2000
Print: Hahnemühle FineArt Baryta printed by WhiteWall
Sheet size: 40 × 50 cm (15.75 × 19.69''), motif size: 25.4 × 38.1 cm (10 × 15'')
Signed and marked with the edition number
Supplied in a decorative folder, with a certificate of authenticity with the edition number
Limited edition: 80
Available exclusively at all Leica Galleries
Price: 1050 euros (nett)
On sale as of November 2023
Leica Hall of Fame Award
Pictures that have touched the world, moments that remain unforgotten: Leica Camera AG has been inducting outstanding photographers into the Leica Hall of Fame since 2011 – artists whose vision of the world has moved something, has changed something. Timeless iconic images that reveal the conditio humana, and have become part of our collective memory, offer testimony to their creativity. To date, the honor has been granted to Gianni Berengo Gardin, René Burri, Bruce Davidson, Ralph Gibson, Ara Güler, Thomas Hoepker, Barbara Klemm, Steve McCurry, Joel Meyerowitz, Jürgen Schadeberg, Nick Út and Walter Vogel. This year it is Elliott Erwitt who has been inducted into the Leica Hall of Fame.
Leica Picture of the Year 2023:
New York City, USA 2000 © Elliott Erwitt/MAGNUM PHOTOS
Elliott Erwitt, New York City, USA 1999 © Elliott Erwitt/MAGNUM PHOTOS
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Leica Camera AG is an international, premium manufacturer of cameras and sports optics. The legendary reputation of the Leica brand is based on a long tradition of excellent quality, German craftsmanship and German industrial design, combined with innovative technologies. An integral part of the brand's culture is the diversity of activities the company undertakes for the advancement of photography. In addition to the Leica Galleries and Leica Akademies spread around the world, there are the Leica Hall of Fame Award and, in particular, the Leica Oskar Barnack Award (LOBA), which is considered one of the most innovative sponsorship awards existing today. Furthermore, Leica Camera AG, with its headquarters in Wetzlar, Hesse, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal, has a worldwide network of its own national organisations and Leica Retail Stores.