Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick was born in the Bronx in 1928. As a young man, Kubrick attended Howard Taft High School, but he was less interested in formal education and was already serious about photography. While still in high school, he sold his first photograph to Look magazine in 1945. After graduating he went right to work for the magazine, skipping over higher education in favor of real life experience. At Look, Kubrick mastered the skills of framing, composing, and lighting compelling images. He advanced his ways of seeing and sharpened his fascination with human relationships, sometimes photographing unsuspecting subjects engaged in intimate interactions or catching others in the act of looking. His ability to see and translate an individual’s complex psychological life into visual form was apparent in his many personality profiles. Additionally, working for Look provided incredible behind- the-scenes access to post-war media: stage, radio, and motion pictures. His numerous personality profiles gave him firsthand experience of the ways that celebrities crafted their public personas, and he was often on the set, seeing the production process up close. In interviews Kubrick credited his experience at Look for shaping his career path, saying “By the time I was 21, I had four years of seeing how things worked in the world.” He added, “I think if I’d gone to college, I would never have become a director.”

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To see the world differently