16th Century Aztec Fan, 1990
Blind in one eye, Albert Watson studied graphic design prior to becoming a photographer. His manipulation of contrast and superior sense of composition distinguish his portraits of celebrities and models. With an emphasis on the formal and sculptural properties of his sitters' bodies, Watson's images have not only appeared in numerous American and European fashion magazines but also in museum and gallery exhibitions. In his famous nude photographs of Kate Moss taken on her 18th birthday in 1993, the model's spine pokes through the skin of her curved back, like the scales of a dinosaur, while the right side of her body is entirely shaded. In a 1989 portrait, Naomi Campbell's head is silhouetted against a gray surface, while her bare shoulders and the arch of her back are illuminated. In 2010 he was awarded the Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Medal and Honorary Fellowship.