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Influential Photographs: The Fan, 1969 by Robert Altman

The 1960s was the decade of the many things. Peace and flowers were the weapons against overseas war, hippies marched for the return of soldiers from other countries and the young were involved in a cultural upheaval. Photographer Robert Altman was in the middle of the crowd, capturing the youthful vigor of the decade.

This photograph of an awed Tina Turner fan at the Gold Rush Festival held on October 4, 1969 is one of many images of the flowering decade. The young kid’s expression on his face paints an image of admiration and amazement. The audience is just intently watching the soulful singer do her thing on the stage. Slack jawed and with just this light on their faces, especially on the young boy’s is like an expression of seeing a magic trick for the first time.

“…Sometimes photography is alchemy, pure magic. Sometimes it just all comes together.” – Robert Altman

Photo by Robert Altman via The Selvedge Yard

Altman shot other personalities in the likes of Neil Young, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger to name a few, as he played a pivotal role in the formation of the legendary Rolling Stone magazine. His photographs during the decade made front covers of the magazine.

Robert Altman photographed famous people who were key to the cultural revolution of the 60s and 70s but he also captured the essence of both eras by photographing people and events. A decade of culture and youthful vitality, the 1960s was a time wherein the younger generation played a huge part in the formation of music history. This photograph titled “The Fan” shows exactly just that. The feeling and experience of the 60s is very much alive in Altman’s photographs.

All information used in this article were sourced from The Selvedge Yard, Altman Photo and Morrison Hotel Gallery.

Our intention with the Influential Photographs columns is not to glorify or demean the subject of the photo. Our intention with this column is to highlight the most influential analogue photographs of history. The photographs we feature are considered icons, for their composition, subject matter, or avant-garde artistic value.

written by cheeo

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