Photographer Irving Penn died yesterday morning in New York City, where he lived and worked.
Though Penn became widely known at first for his fashion photography for Vogue magazine starting in the 1940s, he later gained entry to the fine-art world with his striking still lifes of cigarette butts, sidewalk detritus, and animal skulls.
But perhaps the one image I think of almost immediately upon hearing Penn's name is this 1977 photograph, "Frozen Food (with String Beans)," which lends the icy blocks of fruits and vegetables a certain elegance you'd never imagine they'd have.
Every time I open my freezer and see a package of frozen vegetables sitting there, I imagine peeling the box away from them, finding some good light, and and snapping away.
Our condolences go out to Mr. Penn's family, friends, and fans.