Harlots, hoodlums, and heathens in Brassai's Paris "Brassai is a living eye," wrote Henry Miller of the Hungarian born artist who adopted Paris after World War I and became one of its most celebrated photographers. Originally a painter before he moved on to writing, sculpture, cinema and, most famously, photography, Brassai (1899-1984) was a member of Paris s cultural elite, counting Miller, Picasso, Sartre, Camus, and Cocteau, among his friends.
Camera in hand, he scoured the streets and bars of Paris, unabashedly capturing the city s inhabitants in their natural habitats.
Prostitutes, hoodlums, and other marginal characters were the most famous heroes of Brassai s moody, gritty photographs taken often by night.
Including an extensive selection of Brassai s finest photographs and an essay describing his life and work, this book explores the world of Brassai in thematic chapters: Minotaure magazine, Paris at Night, Secret Paris, Day Visions, Artists of My Life, and Graffiti and Transmutations. "
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 192 pages, black & white illustrations
- Publisher: Taschen GmbH
- Publication Date: 07/03/2008
- Category: Individual photographers
- ISBN: 9783836503891
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Review by macha
gorgeous edition by Taschen of a fantastic photographer. it's a selection of his work from various books; you'll still want the books themselves. but these are large, crisp renditions of a surprisingly formal photographer who made art, not just records, with his camera. in which light and shadow, fog, pattern and formal line, had weight and character, and something to say. at the same time, Brassai painted the ordinary life of the city, including the underground; the subjects are in collusion with the camera, looking boldly out into the future with complete self-possession and a modernity of spirit. here nothing is forbidden, or even framed as exotic, the transgressive taking pride of place beside historic facades and character studies filmed on the stairs, ephemera of the night on the iconic streets of the eternal city.