Photography

Seeff, Norman (1939)

Norman Seef moved from his native South Africa to New York where his career as a photographer rose after he met Columbia Records’ creative director, Bob Cato who introduced him to many artists such as Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe. His iconic black-and-white photographs taken in a studio before a simple grey background or in the artists’ intimacy, all diffuse a cool, nonchalant feel while they clearly reveal the true personalities of the sitters: ‘My whole thing was, 'It's not about photography – it's about communication.’ Thus, inspired by his subjects’s creativity, Norman Seef liked his photo sessions to turn into live performances and authentic interviews that would attract audiences, from 40 to 250 people. With his expressive images, the South-African photographer captured a visionary Steve Jobs in a kind of wise yogi-like attitude, Janis Joplin is a diva, Cher reveals herself as an ethereal sex bomb and Franck Zappa kindly teases himself and his observers. With his trustful manner, Norman Seef managed to illustrate the incredible creativity of the 1970s as well as its effortless and mischievous entertainers.
 

Norman Seeff, Joni Mitchell, Los Angeles, 1976
Norman Seeff, Joni Mitchell, Los Angeles, 1976
Norman Seeff, Carly Simon, 1975
Norman Seeff, Carly Simon, 1975
Norman Seeff, Frank Zappa, 1976
Norman Seeff, Frank Zappa, 1976
Norman Seeff, Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe, 1969
Norman Seeff, Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe, 1969
Norman Seeff, Steve Martin, 1977
Norman Seeff, Steve Martin, 1977
Norman Seeff, Whitney Houston, 1983
Norman Seeff, Whitney Houston, 1983
Norman Seeff, John Travolta, 1976
Norman Seeff, John Travolta, 1976
Norman Seeff, Steve Martin, 1977
Norman Seeff, Steve Martin, 1977
Norman Seeff, Steve Jobs, 1984
Norman Seeff, Steve Jobs, 1984
Norman Seeff, Herbie Hancock, 1986
Norman Seeff, Herbie Hancock, 1986
Norman Seeff, Steve Jobs, 1984
Norman Seeff, Steve Jobs, 1984
Norman Seeff, Andy Warhol, 1970
Norman Seeff, Andy Warhol, 1970
Norman Seeff, Carly Simon, c.1974/75
Norman Seeff, Carly Simon, c.1974/75
Norman Seeff, Cher, 1976
Norman Seeff, Cher, 1976
Norman Seeff, Dennis Hopper, 1989
Norman Seeff, Dennis Hopper, 1989
Norman Seeff, Fleetwood Mac, 1978
Norman Seeff, Fleetwood Mac, 1978
Norman Seeff, Frank Zappa, 1976
Norman Seeff, Frank Zappa, 1976
Norman Seeff, Ike and Tina Turner, 1975
Norman Seeff, Ike and Tina Turner, 1975
Norman Seeff, Jodie Foster, 1976
Norman Seeff, Jodie Foster, 1976
Norman Seeff, John Belushi, 1981
Norman Seeff, John Belushi, 1981
Norman Seeff, John Huston, 1985
Norman Seeff, John Huston, 1985
Norman Seeff, John Lee Hooker, 1971
Norman Seeff, John Lee Hooker, 1971
Norman Seeff, John Travolta, 1976
Norman Seeff, John Travolta, 1976
Norman Seeff, Joni Mitchell, 1976
Norman Seeff, Joni Mitchell, 1976
Norman Seeff, Kathy Silva and Sly Stone, 1974
Norman Seeff, Kathy Silva and Sly Stone, 1974
Norman Seeff, Marc Bolan and Gloria Jones, 1974
Norman Seeff, Marc Bolan and Gloria Jones, 1974
Norman Seeff, Martin Scorsese, 1986
Norman Seeff, Martin Scorsese, 1986
Norman Seeff, Merle Haggard, 1981
Norman Seeff, Merle Haggard, 1981
Norman Seeff, Patti Smith, 1969
Norman Seeff, Patti Smith, 1969
Norman Seeff, Ray Charles, 1985
Norman Seeff, Ray Charles, 1985
Norman Seeff, Ronnie Wood, 1979
Norman Seeff, Ronnie Wood, 1979
Norman Seeff, Steve Jobs, 1984
Norman Seeff, Steve Jobs, 1984
Norman Seeff, Steve Martin, 1977
Norman Seeff, Steve Martin, 1977
Norman Seeff, The Rolling Stones, 1971
Norman Seeff, The Rolling Stones, 1971
Norman Seeff, Van Halen, 1979
Norman Seeff, Van Halen, 1979
Norman Seeff, Whitney Houston, 1983
Norman Seeff, Whitney Houston, 1983
Norman Seeff, Kiss, 1974
Norman Seeff, Kiss, 1974
Norman Seeff, The Jacksons, 1975
Norman Seeff, The Jacksons, 1975
Norman Seeff, Eagles, 1976
Norman Seeff, Eagles, 1976
Norman Seeff, Cher and Gregg Allman, 1977
Norman Seeff, Cher and Gregg Allman, 1977
Norman Seeff, Blondie, 1979
Norman Seeff, Blondie, 1979
Norman Seeff, Aerosmith, 1977
Norman Seeff, Aerosmith, 1977
Norman Seeff, Steve Tyler, 1988
Norman Seeff, Steve Tyler, 1988
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