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Benefit, The Museum of Modern Art, New York City

  • Accession Number:
  • Artist:
    Fink, Larry
  • Date:
    June 1977; printed 1983
  • Medium:
    Gelatin silver print
  • Dimensions:
    image: 14 in x 13 7/8 in; paper: 20 in x 16 in
  • Credit Line:
    Gift of Dr. Terry and Lee Anne Box


About the Photographer

Fink, Larry

American, b. 1941 Brooklyn, NY

In his book Social Graces (1984), Larry Fink mentions the strong human desire to document in photographs our personal as well as our shared realities: "It is a profound aspect of our culture, this compulsion for proof. It allows me to wade into a party." Fink's images range from black-tie events in New York to celebrations of his working-class neighbors in Pennsylvania. Pat Sabatine's Twelfth Birthday Party, May, 1981 features neither the celebrating child nor what Fink refers to as the "holy mess" of the Sabatine family kitchen, but simply an anonymous hand and the geometry of a gesture. Such intimacies underscore Fink's belief that all of his subjects, regardless of social status, share the same underlying of emotions, political ideals, and alliances.

Larry Fink was an early admirer of Henry Cartier-Bresson's work and studied in the 1960s with Lisette Model, who encouraged him to pursue a career as a photographer. Born in Brooklyn in 1941, Fink originally looked to the city of New York for his photographic subject matter. Today he is perhaps best known for work produced in the 1970s documenting parties. An influential educator, Fink has taught at the Yale University School of Art, New Haven; Cooper Union School of Art and Architecture, New York; Parsons School of Design, New York; and the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia. His work has been widely exhibited in the United States, including solo exhibitions at Light Gallery, New York; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.