Bruce Weber, born in rural Greensburg, Pennsylvania in 1946, became the preeminent photographer of the fashion industry in the 1980s and continues to be one of the world’s most popular and influential photographers. Working for Calvin Klein, Karl Lagerfeld Gianni Versace, Ralph Lauren – and more recently, Abercrombie & Fitch – Weber pioneered a nostalgic, aspirational style that redefined the industry. He is widely considered to have introduced a new level of artistry to commercial photography.
Weber initially pursued theater at Denison University in Ohio, then turned to filmmaking at New York University. Thanks to Diane Arbus, he was introduced and studied with Lisette Model at The New School for Social Research in the 1960s. He participated in his first group show at The Floating Foundation of Photography in 1973 and had his first solo exhibition at Razor Gallery in New York City a year later.
In the late 1970s, Weber began photographing ads and commercials for Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. His photographs have since appeared in Vanity Fair, American Vogue, Interview, Italian Vogue, French Vogue, and GQ, among many others.
He has also earned acclaim for his filmmaking, including Broken Noses (1987), a documentary about boxer and Olympic hopeful Andy Minsker; Let’s Get Lost (1989), a documentary on jazz trumpeter Chet Baker, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Feature Documentary; and Chop Suey Club (2001), a feature on wrestler Peter Johnson that is equally about the filmmaker’s own career and inspirations. Among numerous TV commercials and music videos, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art presented a retrospective of his short films and documentaries in 1998. His most recent documentary, A Letter to True, an anti-war film, opened at the Berlin Film Festival and showed as an official selection at the Tribeca, Toronto, and Edinburgh film festivals in 2004.
More than 15 books of Weber’s work have been published. His photographs are in the permanent collections of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in Paris. Weber has exhibited at venues including the 1987 Whitney Biennial in New York City, Musee de l’Elysee in Lausanne, Switzerland, Palazzo Fortuny in Venice, the Florence Biennale, the National Portrait Gallery in London, the Parco Exposure Gallery in Tokyo, Fahey/Klein in Los Angeles, Galeria Corso Como in Milan, and the Russell Senate Building in Washington, DC.