Marlon Brando at Home in Los Angeles, 1953. Photo by Sid Avery 11x14
Marlon Brando was a Hollywood rebel but a Hollywood star nonetheless. He was photographed here for the "Saturday Evening Post" ...
moreMarlon Brando was a Hollywood rebel but a Hollywood star nonetheless. He was photographed here for the "Saturday Evening Post" article, "The Star Who Sneers at Hollywood," published June 6, 1953. This fine art print (silver gelatin) is one of our best sellers by renowned photographer Sid Avery. Limited edition prints.
What photographer Sid Avery said about taking this photo:
"I always thought this photo of (Brando) to most depict the 1950s--with the bongos and African art. I was assigned by the "Saturday Evening Post" to do a few pictures of Brando on his first visit to Los Angeles for a film. He was living in a little shack up in Beverly Glen. I had called to get permission to shoot and he said, 'I can't give you any time--I'm leaving for New York. If you want to come in for a quick shot, I'll do it.' Brando was extremely relaxed, innovative and was thoroughly enjoyable. Plus, I must say, he was a very rewarding photographic subject even though he had an aversion to publicity and very little time for our shoot. He gave me one of my best home layouts."
More information about photographer Sid Avery:
1918 - 2002
In the fifties, a new style of glamour photography was seen. The fans wanted to look behind the façade. There was a desire to know what the stars were like in their private lives. “Candid” was the word in vogue. Periodicals like LIFE and Look set the tone, and The Saturday Evening Post and Photoplay adopted the new trend for their glamour spreads.
One of the most successful among the photographers specializing in this new approach was SID AVERY. The established stars, used to the old system, were not easily convinced to let a photographer document them in their unvarnished private lives, but Avery succeeded where others failed—he managed to get in where no one else could—and he soon became the man magazine editors and art directors called on for their candid photo layouts.
At an early age, Sid was introduced to photography by his uncle, Max Tatch, a landscape and architectural photographer. “He invited me into the darkroom to watch him print,” Avery remembers vividly. “I stood on a little box so I could see into the tray. I saw him put a piece of paper in what I thought was water, and all of a sudden this magic thing happened—a beautiful image began to appear. That experience stuck with me for a long time.”
After graduating from Roosevelt High School, Sid landed a job a Morgan’s Camera store on Sunset Boulevard. Here he felt right in the center of the action. The shop was located near the old NBC studios, and served as a gathering spot for many well-known photographers, including some from LIFE magazine. After taking evening classes at Art Center and working for a period as a darkroom assistant, Sid went out on his own.
Among Avery’s first odd jobs was that of taking glamour shots of the chorus girls at Earl Carroll’s Vanities and the Florentine Gardens. Who knows where this road would have taken him, but then Uncle Sam intervened—Avery was drafted into the Army. For most this would have been a setback—for Avery it turned out to be a godsend. He was assigned to the Signal Corps and selected to receive six months of training at LIFE in New York before being sent overseas.
Stationed in London, he was placed in charge of the Army Pictorial Service Laboratory, where all the still and combat footage coming out of the European theater passed through his hands. During his stay in London he not only survived Hitler’s bombs, but managed to marry an English girl, Diana Berliner, who eventually became the mother of the couple’s three children, and a much-appreciated partner in Avery’s career as manager and promoter of his talent.
When Avery returned to Hollywood after the war, he was ready for the photo journalism boom.
While glamour photography in the twenties and thirties would often attain a very high degree of artistic sophistication, this aspect had to give way in the more immediate, less staged—or most often unstaged—approach. This is not to say that Avery’s photographs lack artistic quality. The inference is rather that the candid type of image could never be built in the same deliberate and time-consuming way as the studio shoot. Regardless, Avery’s work displays a remarkably high degree of refinement, effective but subtle lighting, and composition as good as you could expect in the often cramped settings—all ample proof of Avery’s mastery of the craft.
But Avery’s most effective tool was not his technical skill as a photographer, but his personality. His friendly, unassuming style put his subjects at ease and made them open up. An anecdote from Avery’s rich memory bank serves to illustrate the point. He had been pleading for weeks with the elusive Marlon Brando to get a few minutes of his time. When he finally agreed, Avery was invited to Brando’s little rented house on Beverly Glen—which was mess. But Avery turned this problematic situation into an opportunity, and the result was one of his most unique images—of the mercurial Brando carrying out his trash.
“Understand, I didn’t stage that situation,” Avery remembers. “I didn’t say to him, ‘Hey, will you take the trash out?’ I happened to walk into his kitchen, and it was waist-high in crap—paper, cartons, bottles, ants, roaches, you name it. I didn’t say anything, just kept working with him in other parts of the house. And then I said casually, ‘You know, I’d love to get some shots of you in the kitchen, but it’s such a goddamn mess, I can’t get in there. Would you do me a favor and clean it up?’ So he and a friend he was playing chess with worked for half an hour cleaning up that kitchen. And every time he carried out a box of trash, I took pictures. But he was really doing something. It wasn’t a fabricated situation.”
When television finally put the picture magazines out of business in the sixties, Avery decided to switch to advertising photography. At first, he found the going tough, but step by step—with the help of his wife / manager—he began getting assignments, and once he had a foot in the door he never looked back. He eventually became one of the top advertising photographers in Los Angeles. Avery next took the leap from advertising still photography into directing television commercials, a field he soon mastered equally well, receiving numerous awards. Who can forget the Chrysler Cordoba commercials with Ricardo Montalban and his “Corinthian leather” line?
In the eighties, Avery redirected his energies toward preserving the history of Hollywood as depicted in still photography, founding the non-profit Hollywood Photographers Archive. Eventually comprising some 150,000 photographs, the archive was in 1987 donated to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts. Avery then began rebuilding the collection under its present name, the Motion Picture and Television Photo Archive (mptv Images), representing over fifty of Hollywood’s best-known photographers. The organization serves the television and publishing industry, making the work of these photographers available for use in books, magazines, advertising and documentaries, as well as offering prints to a growing audience of collectors.
His photographs have been exhibited all over the world, from Australia to Japan to England and throughout Europe. less
Typical Delivery Time: 7-14 days.
No questions or comments yet
Return Policy - All sales are final 48 hours after delivery, unless otherwise specified.
The Chairish Buyer Guarantee ensures that you have complete peace of mind when
making a purchase on Chairish in the event that your item:
- Does not arrive
- Is broken during transit
- Is materially different than what you purchased
- All sales are final on Made-to-Order items, some jewelry and limited selection of other items as noted in the returns and cancellations section of the product description.
- For all other items, sales are final 48 hours after delivery (Except Free Local Pickup and Seller Managed Local Delivery — see below).
- To request a return, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and include the order number and the reason for your return request.
- On approved returns, the buyer is responsible for full cost of return packing & shipping.
- Local Pickup & Local Delivery
- All sales are final once buyer or buyer’s agent takes possession of an item.
- Upon inspection, if you decide not to move forward with the purchase, you or your agent must refuse the item at the time of pickup/delivery from the seller. Once you have taken possession of the item, all sales are final. Please contact email@example.com to let us know you did not accept the item and would like to initiate a refund.
- Prior to shipping or local pickup, buyers may cancel an order for any reason, with the exception of Made-to-Order items, where supplies have been purchased or work begun on the item.
- Please notify us within 24 hours of purchase if you would like to cancel an order, as prompt cancellation will reduce the likelihood that you will incur return shipping charges.
- Once shipping or pickup has been initiated, the cancellation will be considered a return and you will be responsible for the cost of shipping.
Note: Made-to-Order items typically include a lead time or custom delivery window, which is detailed in the product description.
For shipping on all other items, please see below:
- Free Shipping
- Free shipping may be offered on select listings.
- Smaller items are typically delivered within 2 weeks of the purchase date, while larger items and furniture may take up to 6 weeks for delivery.
- When an item with Free Shipping is returned, the cost of return shipping fees will be charged to the buyer.
- Free Local Pickup
- Local pickup allows customers to inspect an item at the time of pickup and avoid shipping costs.
- Following purchase, a confirmation email is sent to the email address associated with the order, and includes: Pickup Verification & Seller's contact information
- Please contact the seller within 5 days to coordinate pickup
- Parcel Delivery
- Shipment is arranged through recognized carriers such as UPS, FedEx, and DHL.
- Only pieces that can be safely packed in a box or envelope may be shipped via parcel.
- Shipping charges start at $9 — and vary based on the size, weight, packaging and the value of the item.
- Items are typically delivered within 2 weeks of the purchase date.
- Chairish Local Delivery
- Item is delivered inside your home and placed in the room of your choice (installation and hookup are not included).
- Local rates are available on most items where the delivery location is within 50 miles.
- Shipping charges start at $149, depending on product type,, size, location of the buyer and seller, and value of the item.
- Local deliveries typically take up to 3 weeks.
- Chairish In-home Delivery
- Item is delivered inside your home and placed in the room of your choice (installation and hookup are not included).
- Deliveries may take up to 6 weeks, and up to 8 weeks when either the buyer or seller are located outside of standard shipping routes.
Shipping charges start at $299, depending on product type, size, location of the buyer and seller, and value of the item.
Delivery Type Under $2,000 Over $2,000 Chairish In-home Delivery $299 $399 Large Handling > 35 cu. ft. < 52 cu ft. $399 $449 Fragile and/or Oversized Handling Price may vary. Based on material, location and size. Price may vary. Based on material, location and size.
- Seller Managed Delivery
- Shipping is offered and managed by the seller, through a shipper of the seller’s choice.
- Available on items at the seller’s discretion.
- Seller Managed Local Delivery
- Local curbside delivery is offered and managed by the seller, within a limited geography.
- Following purchase, a confirmation email is sent to the confirmation email address associated with the order, and includes: Pickup Verification Code & Seller’s contact information
- Please contact the seller within 5 days to coordinate delivery.