Andre de Dienes is one of the great photographers of these times. His techniques are that of a master and a superb technician. There is a consistent brilliance in the print quality of his works and more than technical competence, de Dienes has the gift of achieving perfect rapport with his model. In the field of nude photography he is unequalled.
Andre de Dienes was born in 1913 in Turia, Transylvania (now Romania). Following his mothers suicide he left home at 15 and traveled throughout Europe, mostly by foot, before ending up in Tunisia, North Africa, where he worked odd jobs, learned to paint and purchased his first camera, a 35mm Retina.
In 1933 de Dienes arrived in Paris to study art and bought his first Rolleiflex camera. Fascinated with taking pictures, he made a living selling photographs to publishing companies, including Lb Humanite (a Communist newspaper) and worked for The Associated Press until 1936 when famous Parisian couturier, Captain Molyneux, encouraged de Dienes to become a fashion photographer.
In 1938, with the help of Esquire magazine editor, Arnold Gingrich, he emigrated to the US and settled in New York to work for Esquire, Vogue, Life and Montgomery Ward. De Dienes spent his vacations traveling parts of the US, taking pictures of the scenic grandeur of the western United States, and especially the Hopi, Navajo, Apache Indians, etc.
Dissatisfied with the restrictions of fashion photography, de Dienes moved to Hollywood in 1944 to pursue his real passion of photographing nudes (form photography) and outdoor scenes. An emotional and passionate photographer, de Dienes objective was to see beauty in nature and in an effort to make his photographs as true to life, he never retouched them. He believed that to take good photographs one must have great patience, imagination and endurance, and the capacity to reveal both truth and beauty.
To support himself he freelanced for the studios and photographed many stars including Marlon Brando, Elizabeth Taylor, Henry Fonda, Shirley Temple, Fred Astaire, Ingrid Bergman, Ronald Reagan, Jane Russell and Anita Ekberg, and rapidly became known as one of the top glamour photographers. Articles documenting his pioneering darkroom techniques in photo montage appeared in U.S. Camera, Figure Quarterly, Figure Annual, Classic Art Photography, and many more.
Andre De Dienes' association with Marilyn Monroe began in 1945 when he hired her for her first modeling job at age 19. A five week road trip photographing the young Norma Jeane across California, Nevada and New Mexico resulted in a love affair and numerous magazine covers around the world. Their working relationship continued until 1953. Today, de Dienes' images of Monroe are considered by most to be the best studies ever taken of her.
Andre De Dienes' work on nudes have generated twenty-four books published in the US, England and Germany. Marilyn Mon Amourb was published in 1985 by St. Martinbs Press, and Marilyn in 2002 by Taschen. ( NewsWeek featured the three-volume book in a six page cover story).
Married twice but with no children, de Dienes died of Cancer in 1985. He is survived by his second wife, Shirley T. Ellis de Dienes who currently preserves, exhibits and licenses her late husbands legendary archive.