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Joe Shore, Marilyn Monroe (In shorts), 1952 © Joe Shore and Fahey/Klein Gallery, LA
Joe Shore, Marilyn Monroe (In shorts), 1952 © Joe Shore and Fahey/Klein Gallery, LA

It’s Christmas Eve, you’re relaxing and having a good time, and then comes a terrible email. It’s from Bénédicte Tourdjman, announcing the death of her husband Georges, a great photographer and a wonderful person. In the 1960s, Georges Toudjman studied with Alexey Brodovitch in New York, before returning to France to launch a career as a photographer for some of the big fashion houses, such as Dior, Chanel, etc. His photographs illustrated the covers of major magazines, including Camera, Stern, Photo, and Marie-France. Georges Tourdjman also directed some fifty commercials. One of his most iconic series features the inhabitants of Fontaine-les-Ribouts, a small village in the department of Eure-et-Loir, France, and tells their story with humanity and humility. Georges Tourdjman is also known for his intimate portraits of celebrities, including Man Ray, Cartier-Bresson, Hiro, Mapplethorpe, Penn, and Newton. As an homage to the photographer, we reproduce today some of these portraits.

When she shared the news of her husband’s death, Bénédicte Tourdjman wrote:

“Dear Mr. Naudet,

Georges was a very private person, which is why you would never know that he had been fighting cancer for the past three years. Yesterday morning, however, he succumbed to the disease and expired in my and my sons’ arms.

I know he contacted you, since, no longer able to write himself, he asked me to compose the email he sent you along with a few portraits. This was a nearly posthumous impulse, as his sons and I were often sorry that so many treasures often collected dust in his cupboards. The three of us would be very proud if his gallery of portraits was to be published one day in the Eye of Photography, which we used to browse and talk about every morning.

He had a big family, and photography is a passion that he passed on to our children, César and Mathieu, as well as to many others. As for myself, I have lost the man I love. I know he wouldn’t have liked me saying this, but never mind, I will say it anyway: he was a great man of images who will be missed as much by the world of photography as by his family. Although I am overwhelmed with grief, the pride of being his wife sweetens the sorrow.

Bénédicte Tourdjman”

In early December, Georges Tourdjman sent us his portraits accompanied by the following words:

“Photographers, who are close to my heart,

As the generation which precedes me is all but gone, with my own following not far behind, I would like to entrust to the Eye of Photography the portraits of some of the photographers I have admired. They left behind unforgettable images which have become emblematic of a History told each in his or her own fashion.

Photography is often talked about as an abstract entity, as if it weren’t made by men and women without whom it would be no more than a vulgar technique of reproduction. One regret, however: having collected no more than hundred fifty portraits of my best loved photographers.”

Jean-Jacques Naudet

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Best wishes from Georges Tourdjman

Happy new year et que 2014 soit l'année de tous les baisers, les gros, les petits, les langoureux, les passionnés, les amicaux, les précieux, les légers, les mouillés, les timides, les vigoureux, les bruyants, les doux, les voraces, les h&eacu...