The Zenith Of Elegance (Dovima)

“Born in Queens, New York, to a Polish-American policeman and an Irish-born mother, she was the first model to use a single name. The name Dovima is composed of the first two letters of her three given names.[1]Dovima was discovered on a sidewalk in New York by an editor at Vogue, and had a photo shoot with Irving Penn the following day. She worked closely with Richard Avedon, whose photograph of her in a floor-length black evening gown with circus elephants—Dovima with the Elephants[2]—taken at the Cirque d'hiver, Paris, in August 1955, has become an icon and sold for $1,151,976 in 2010.[3] The gown was the first evening dress designed for Christian Dior by his new assistant, Yves Saint-Laurent.[4] Dovima was reputed to be the highest-paid model of her time; she commanded $60 per hour when most of the top models were receiving anything up to $25 per hour. She became known as the Dollar-a-Minute Girl.[5][6]She had a minor role as an aristocratic-looking, but empty-headed, fashion model with a Jackson Heights whine: Marion in Funny Face (Paramount, 1957).Dovima gave birth to a daughter named Allison on July 14, 1958, in Manhattan. Allison’s father was Dovima’s second husband, Allan Murray.When the marriage to Murray ended in divorce, causing her to become penniless, Dovima first tried acting then attempted working as an agent during the 1960s. Eventually, by the 1970s, she found herself moving in with her parents who had relocated to Florida, and was working as a hostess in The Two Guys Pizza Parlor in Ft Lauderdale, Florida by the 1980s.[7]She died of liver cancer on May 3, 1990 at the age of 62.”

The only photograph I had preconceived before coming to South Africa was to shoot one or more of Ailey’s dancers with an Elephant. I’ve lived with a reproduction of Avedon’s ‘Dovima with Elephants’ framed on my wall for most of my life and although nothing could equal the serenity and power of that image I wanted to have my day in the (African) sun finding my own interpretation. Yesterday I got the opportunity. This image is of Jamar Roberts effortlessly lifting Jacqueline Green over his head with one arm while “Three” mother of two looks on. Glen Afric Lodge, 40 minutes outside of Johannesburg. ‪#‎AlvinAileySA‬ @AlvinAiley@eccles