Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Robert Frank

"When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice ... " Robert Frank

Check out some of his photos ... click here ...

Robert Frank born 1924 in Zurich, Switzerland. He's an important figure in American photography and films. His most famous work is a photographic book titles "The Americans" published in 1958. It's a result of his road-trip for two years, where he took 28,000 shots of which 83 were selected for the book, but he could not find a publisher in the USA. He took it to Robert Delpiré in France, who had to threaten to resign to get it published as 'Les Americains'.

Following this it was published a year later in America with an introduction by Jack Kerouac. The Americans is now recognised as one of the classic photography books of the century. It built on the acheivement of Walker Evans (one of Frank's supporters for his Guggenheim application) in American Photographs, and was in some respects modelled on this other great work.

His photographs are on post-war period that depicts an outsider view of American society. "He documented the tensions between the optimism of the 1950s and the realities of class and racial differences. The irony that Frank found in the gloss of American culture and wealth over this tension gave his photographs a clear contrast to those of most contemporary American photojournalists..."

"It was not only the subject matter, but also the style of his photography which at first shocked, and then imposed itself. He broke all the rules. His photos are shadowy and grainy, taken from unconventional angles, with blurred focus, techniques that capture the dislocation and alienation of his subjects.

The faces are often enough unrecognisable, in shadow, or in the glare of light. His people don't belong but are simply passing through - in buses, in lunch counters or cheap stores, or going down the street to get somewhere else."

Reference: Robert Frank, click here ...

"My photographs are not planned or composed in advance, and I do not anticipate that the onlooker will share my viewpoint. However, I feel that if my photograph leaves an image on his mind, something has been accomplished.” - Robert Frank

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