By DOUGLAS MARTIN Published: September 1, 2010
Corinne Day, whose frank, unadorned photos of a teenage Kate Moss in the early 1990s helped inaugurate a new era of gritty realism in fashion photography that came to be called “grunge,” died Friday at her home in Denham, a village in Buckinghamshire, England.
Kate Moss, left, and Corinne Day at the National Portrait Gallery in London in 2007.
The cause was a cancerous brain tumor, said her agent, Susan Babchick. According to her Web site, Ms. Day was 45, but public records indicate she was 48.
Ms. Day’s passion to record the most profound human experiences with a camera was never more evident than the day in 1996 when the tumor was discovered after she had collapsed in New York. She promptly asked her husband to shoot pictures of her, and they continued the project through her treatment and decline.
“Photography is getting as close as you can to real life,” she said, “showing us things we don’t normally see. These are people’s most intimate moments, and sometimes intimacy is sad.”
Ms. Day built her reputation on unrelenting visual honesty. She refused to airbrush the bags from under models’ eyes or de-emphasize their knobby knees. She eschewed pretty locations or even studios in favor of shooting people in their own environments.
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