Photographer Victor Skrebneski dies

Super model Cindy Crawford says working with Victor Skrebneski was a great privilege.
Super model Cindy Crawford says working with Victor Skrebneski was a great privilege.

Fashion and celebrity photographer Victor Skrebneski, who photographed personalities including Orson Welles, Cindy Crawford, David Bowie and Bette Davis and shot glamorous photos for the Chicago Film Festival, has died. He was 90.

"Working with Victor was one of the great privileges of my modeling career," said Crawford in a statement on Saturday.

"He was my first mentor and taught me so much about the art of modeling and photography. Those years I spent on his set under the beautiful lighting being directed by a true artist, prepared me for my life in fashion, but also, his elegance and sophistication shaped my definition of a true gentleman. He will be missed."

Among the other personalities he photographed, often in striking black and white, were Oprah Winfrey, Raquel Welch, Francois Truffaut, Audrey Hepburn and Barack and Michelle Obama.

Skrebneski set up his studio in Chicago in 1952, and was known for advertising campaigns such as the Estee Lauder woman and magazine work for magazines including Chicago-based Playboy.

Chicago International Film Festival founder Michael Kutza recalled, "In 1966, I asked Victor to help make the Chicago Film Festival sexy. He ended up putting it on the map." Skrebneski's posters for the festival became collectibles over the years.

Born in Chicago, he attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 1989, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago featured an exhibit of his work. A 50-year retrospective of his work was organized by The Museum of Contemporary Photography in 1999.

He published his 18th book, Skrebneski Documented, earlier this year.

Australian Associated Press