Brassai: Paris by Night

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Brassai: Paris by Night

Brassai: Paris by Night

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Having tried my hands at night-time photography I never really given full consideration to the fact that the night is not a continuation of the day with different exposure settings, nor is it simply its negative. The more I reflect upon the workload itself, I wonder about his habits as he went out each night to photograph. He was roaming a lot of the streets in the evenings, trying to really understand the communities, the activities that were taking place at night,” says Linde B.

Beyond such experiences that the book brings, stands the work itself, the effort that Brassaï must have put in to capture such photographs in 1933. Slowly my eyes become acclimatized to the night setting and I start to wonder about the people being photographed: I wonder about the photo of a lone prostitute standing at a corner, the light of an out of sight window or gas lamp casting her long shadow onto the sidewalk.

The back alleys, metro stations, and bistros he photographed are at turns hauntingly empty or peopled by prostitutes, laborers, thugs, and lovers.

Forms dance in silent, slow movements beckoning you forward, hinting of a meaning slightly underwater, gently out of grasp. While his images reflect the glitter and gaiety the city was famous for—the brilliantly lit grand staircase of the Opéra on a gala night, the Eiffel Tower blazing with lights in the shape of shooting stars, cancan girls doing high kicks at the Bal Tabarin, Brassaï also included the grittier side of Paris by night: a row of clochards sleeping under the colonnade of the Bourse de Commerce; an elderly homeless woman dressed in the tattered remnants of her former finery; a ragpicker crouched on the cobblestones, digging through a trashcan. Ein wunderbarer Bildband, aus einer Zeit, als Fotografieren noch eine hochkomplizierte Kunst war und Bilder entweder gleich, oder niemals etwas geworden sind. The results of this project --- a fascinatingly tawdry collection of prostitutes, pimps, madams, transvestites, apaches, and assorted cold-eyed pleasure-seekers --- was published in 1933 as Paris de Nuit, one of the most remarkable of all photographic books.This book may not have all of Brassai's best works, but it is the most successful collection that I have seen in capturing the spirit of Brassai's photography. When I slowly turn the pages of the 62 duotone photographs this book consists of, based on Brassaï’s original photographic plates, the twilight world slowly draws me into its ‘phantom planes’, and in doing so this world at moments worries me, as If I am with delay soon about to discover something troublesome within its frames. The roads ebb by like frozen boiling rivers, through the blinding lights all effervescent yellow forever dimming upwards, hawking wares like glittering salvations from the heart of the night's pure diversion from diurnal life. George Brassaï (pseudonym of Gyula Halász) (9 September 1899 — 8 July 1984) was a Hungarian photographer, sculptor, and filmmaker who rose to international fame in France in the 20th century. Brassaï moved in the same circles as the surrealists–he met Picasso in 1932, and worked on Le Minotaure, the famous surrealist review.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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